Key NATO member reacts to claims it’s helping Russia's military
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has rejected allegations that Ankara is helping Russia to bypass Western sanctions by providing it with technology products. His comments came after Washington reportedly warned Türkiye against supplying Moscow with anything that could help it to fight in Ukraine.
Speaking at a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday, Cavusoglu was asked to comment on Washington’s concerns that Türkiye could be exporting tech items to Russia in violation of Western sanctions.
The foreign minister claimed that, while Moscow and Ankara have recently seen an increase in bilateral trade, the country would not allow “the US and EU sanctions to be pierced through Türkiye.”
“It is not true that products such as electronics and so on to be used in the defense industry are exported to Russia by us,” he stated, adding that Ankara had asked its American and European partners to share any information that could point to any violations whatsoever so they could be addressed.
Cavusoglu noted that, since the start of the Ukraine conflict, Türkiye “has taken a clear stance” on hostilities and does not allow any warships to pass through the Bosphorus.
Earlier this month, Reuters reported that the US had warned Ankara that it could face punishment should it decide to export chemicals, microchips and other products to Russia that could potentially be used for military purposes.
Since the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, Western countries have slapped unprecedented sanctions on Russia, banning, among other things, the sale of sensitive technologies in an effort to cripple its economy.
In late December, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that the West’s “full-blown sanctions war” had failed to bring about the collapse of the national economy.
Türkiye is opposed to Western restrictions against Russia but has said it will not allow them to be circumvented on its territory. Ankara has repeatedly pushed both sides to engage in peace talks while offering its mediation services. It also played a vital role in brokering a grain deal to unblock agricultural exports via the Black Sea from Russia and Ukraine last July.