After the Sochi Summit, where President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that they will further increase the cooperation between Turkey and Russia, European Union officials closely monitor Turkey, which has been exempted from sanctions until now due to its role as a mediator. signals that new sanctions against Turkey may come in the event of an emergency.
“EU members may restrict trade finance variously”
Speaking to the UK-based Financial Times after Sochi, 6 Western officials signaled that some new measures could be taken by Western countries against Turkey, after Turkey announced that it would increase cooperation with Russia. An official said that the EU’s decision to impose a joint sanction on Turkey might be difficult, but suggested that individual member states could take steps, “For example, they can ask for restrictions on trade finance or they can ask large financial institutions to reduce financing to Turkish companies.”
Officials told the FT they were “concerned about commitments to boost trade and energy cooperation” after the bilateral summit on Friday. An EU official, who has so far not imposed any sanctions on NATO member Turkey due to its military power and its mediation function in the grain corridor, told the FT that “the 27-member bloc is monitoring Turkish-Russian cooperation more and more closely”. He stated that he was concerned that it was becoming a platform for trade with . US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, who visited Turkey in June, also met with Turkish officials and bank executives in Istanbul and warned that it should not become a waterway for illegal Russian money.
Three EU officials stated that there has not yet been a formal discussion on cooperation in Brussels announced at the Sochi summit. Other officials warned the FT that the full details of the Sochi meeting and the results of the negotiations are not yet clear.
“Companies and banks can be called to withdraw from Turkey”
A senior Western official suggested that countries imposing sanctions on Russia should call their companies and banks to withdraw from Turkey if Erdogan fulfills his commitments announced on Friday, according to the FT report. “In light of the risks that Turkey will further develop relations with Russia, countries that impose sanctions on Russia may take steps against Ankara by asking Western firms to withdraw from Turkey or to reduce their relations with Turkey,” the official said. A similar call has never been made to a NATO member country before. On the other hand, some officials also state that imposing sanctions on Turkey may be legally difficult in practice. The Turkish economy, which is 800 billion dollars in size and already struggling with hyperinflation, may see even more difficult times in the event of a possible sanction.