FT learns of EU requests to Turkey to explain trade with Russia

EU countries, which are concerned about the growing cooperation between Ankara and Moscow, began to contact the Turkish authorities on this issue. They are worried that Turkey can help Russia circumvent the imposed sanctions max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

< img class="aligncenter" src="https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/media/img/4/37/756606716813374.jpg" alt="The FT learned about EU requests to Turkey to explain trade with Russia"/>

Some EU countries have begun to turn to Ankara with inquiries regarding the growing trade turnover between Russia and Turkey, writes The Financial Times. European officials are irritated by the fact that Turkey does not support the restrictions imposed against Russia.

The states — EU members are increasingly worried about Turkey's booming trade with Russia and how it could help Moscow replace European imports and exports, two officials told the publication. “We are following this. This is not good and is not well received in the EU. It's an irritant, — said one of the interlocutors FT.

From May to July, Turkish exports to Russia totaled $2.04 billion, up $642 million from the same period in 2021, according to data from the Turkish Ministry of Commerce cited by the FT. Over the past month, Turkey's exports to Russia in value terms increased by 75% year on year — from $417 million in July 2021 to $730 million this July. Turkey has not had such a surge in trade with any other country.

Since April, the Federal Customs Service (FCS) and the Bank of Russia have not published data on foreign trade. According to the FCS, as of January 2022, Russian exports to Turkey amounted to $4.261 billion, imports— $618 million. Compared to January 2021, the trade turnover between the two countries as a whole increased by 235% in value terms, imports from Turkey— by 164%.

According to the Turkish Foreign Trade Assembly, cited by the FT, in terms of value in the list of goods that Turkey supplies to Russia, chemical industry products ($166.5 million) are in first place, followed by fruits and vegetables ($90 million), products textile industry ($78.5 million).

In general, Turkish exports in July increased by 13% compared to last year. According to the FT, Turkish exports have recently been on the rise due to rising inflation in the country and the fact that the Turkish Central Bank adheres, despite this, to a loose monetary policy. The lira has lost a quarter of its value against the dollar this year.

European officials also see it as a threat that Turkish businesses see the withdrawal of Western companies from Russia as an opportunity to enter the Russian market. Criticism of the expansion of business ties with Russia was also heard at the official level. “At a time when the EU is curtailing its ties with Russia in response to its aggression against Ukraine, it is not entirely appropriate to expand ties or engagement with Moscow,” — FT quotes Peter Stano, EU Speaker for Foreign and Security Policy.

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“This is Turkey, everyone [in the EU] needs them for one reason or another. And the EU needs to be aware of its capabilities… we can't just tell [Erdogan] that he has to follow our rules,— says one of the FT interlocutors.

In early August, the FT already reported that EU countries were concerned about the rapprochement between Russia and Turkey against the backdrop of sanctions. Then one of the interlocutors of the publication said that Western countries could encourage businesses to leave the Turkish market or reduce their presence on it if official Ankara adheres to agreements with Moscow on transferring oil and gas payments into rubles and cooperation in the political sphere. According to the publication, if Western companies and banks comply, this could cause economic damage to Turkey in the amount of $ 800 billion. According to the FT source, such a measure can be approved “in light of the risk that will be created due to Turkey's expansion of its relations with Russia.” ;.

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