Turkey’s Finance and Treasury Minister Nureddin Nebati told industrialist and business circles on Aug. 26 that “there is no point concerning” about US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury’s warning which stated that pursuing business with sanctioned Russians will also cause secondary sanctions.
“There is no point the letter that is conveyed to the Turkish business circles and organizations to create concern within our business circles. Turkey is one of the most important political and economical center. Our business world should feel the power of the state with them at all times,” Nebati posted on his personal Twitter account on Aug. 26.
His comments came as the first official response to the US warning to Turkish businesses against working with sanctioned Russian institutions and individuals.
New York-based Wall Street Journal reported on Aug. 22 that US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo sent a letter to American Chamber of Commerce in Turkey, stating that “Turkish companies were at risk of coming under US sanctions if they did business with sanctioned Russian individuals.”
Turkey’s biggest business organization Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) confirmed on Aug. 25 that they also received the same letter.
The warning came after the Deputy Secretary visited his Turkish counterpart Yunus Elitaş on Aug. 19, after which he reportedly warned that “Russian institutions and individuals are trying to use Turkey to circumvent Western sanctions for the invasion of Ukraine.”
Responding to the warning, Turkey’s Minister Nebati said “we are determined to develop our commercial and economic relations with our neighbors in various sectors, especially in tourism, within a framework that is not subject to sanctions.”
“All actors of the Turkish economy are committed to the principles of free market economy. It is trying to have more share in global trade. The government of the Republic of Turkey stands by the business world on this path,” he added.
Following the meeting of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Aug. 5, two countries agreed on economic cooperation which included an agreement to make natural gas imports from the Kremlin-led energy company Gazprom partially in Russian rubles. Wall Street Journal reported that Russians opened more than 500 companies in Turkey since the start of the year.
NATO member Turkey adopted a neutral in Russia and Ukraine, keeping good terms with both Moscow and Kyiv, refusing to join the international sanctions but not circumvent it.