US issues warning to Turkish trades over Russia trade


(MENAFN) In a recent development, Turkish businesses face the looming threat of being barred from engaging in currency operations if they persist in trading with Russia, as reported by RIA Novosti and Aydinlik. Allegedly acting at the behest of United States authorities, Turkish banks have already ceased processing trade payments from Russia, with exceptions limited to food transactions. The latest escalation involves the potential termination of currency swaps for Turkish banks unless they sever ties with their Russian counterparts.

According to a separate report by Aydinlik earlier this week, United States officials have reportedly visited Turkish companies and financial institutions, issuing warnings of penalties if they do not discontinue their trade relations with Russia. This comes on the heels of Turkish banks initiating the closure of corporate accounts belonging to Russian businesses and implementing stricter policies for individuals, all in response to the looming threat of secondary sanctions from the United States.

Recent media coverage suggests that Turkish financial institutions have taken preemptive measures by severing ties and suspending payment processing with nearly all Russian banks, a move aimed at avoiding the risk of sanctions. The backdrop for these emerging payment challenges can be traced back to United States President Joe Biden's executive order signed in December, granting the authority to impose secondary sanctions on foreign banks suspected of supporting Russia.

United States officials have consistently identified Turkey as a potential hub for sanctions evasion, raising concerns about alleged trade between Turkish firms and sanctioned Russian entities. Notably, the Turkish government has been navigating this delicate situation, with many Turkish banks and businesses adjusting their operations to comply with the evolving international landscape.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov addressed the issue in early February, acknowledging awareness of the situation and confirming ongoing negotiations. Peskov attributed the challenges to what he described as "unprecedented, blatant, and aggressive United States pressure on Turkey and Turkish companies." The delicate diplomatic dance between Turkey and the United States continues as both nations grapple with the complex interplay of economic interests, international relations, and geopolitical considerations.

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