Reuters: Turkey halts transit of sanctioned goods to Russia

Reuters: Turkey halts transit of sanctioned goods to Russia
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Turkey has passed a ban on the transit of Western-sanctioned goods to Russia in order to avoid confrontation with the EU regarding its joint customs union.

Reporting for Reuters, Ceyda Caglayan and Jonathan Spicer write that according to a senior diplomat, Turkey has stopped its transfer of Western-sanctioned goods to Russia due to pressure by the US and Europe.

Cetin Tecdelioglu, the head of the Istanbul Ferrous and Nonferrous Metal Exporters Association, said that the government gave companies a list of sanctioned goods that were banned from transfer to Russia as of March 1.

According to Tecdelioglu, the Turkish government wants to “avoid confrontation with the EU, the destination of half of Turkish exports under a joint customs union.”

Not all goods are banned from transfer. Those that are produced in Turkey, even if they have parts sourced from other countries, can still be shipped.

Russia was hit by heavy Western sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Turkey had continued trading with the Kremlin despite warnings from Western governments that its close relationship with Russia threatened NATO interests.

In February, US Undersecretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson had warned that Turkey could lose access to G7 markets and risked sanctions itself if Western bans were violated.

Earlier this month, the Turkish government also implemented a ban on providing ground services to certain Russian-operated aircraft in compliance with the requests of the US Department of Commerce.