The Biden administration has warned Turkish businesses not to do business with sanctioned Russian institutions and individuals, intensifying US pressure on a NATO ally that maintains strong ties to Russia during its invasion of Ukraine, writes the Wall Street Journal.
In a letter dated Aug. 22 to the American Chamber of Commerce in Turkey, obtained by the Wall Street Journal, Deputy Finance Minister Wally Adeyemo said Turkish companies are at risk of U.S. sanctions if they do business with people from Russia. subject to sanctions.
The letter makes special reference to Russian banks. “Relationships with sanctioned Russian citizens and organizations may result in Turkish financial institutions and businesses being sanctioned,” the letter states. The newspaper clarifies that Turkish banks that maintain correspondent relationships with Russian banks will be prohibited from having relationships with American banks.
This warning is a confirmation of the increasing pressure exerted on Ankara by Washington. Turkey is the only NATO member country that did not support international sanctions imposed on Russia as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine.
As the Wall Street Journal writes, this resulted in Turkey turning into a haven for Russian capital. Late last week the US Treasury Department announced that there was a telephone conversation between the US Deputy Treasury Secretary and his Turkish counterpart, during which Wally Adeyemo expressed concern that Turkey was being used by the Russians to circumvent the sanctions. The Turkish deputy finance minister had assured his American counterpart that Turkish companies and citizens are not allowed to violate international sanctions.
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