Turkey not exporting items for use in Russia war effort – Foreign Minister

By Huseyin Hayatsever; Edited by News Gate Team

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department in Washington, U.S., January 18, 2023. REUTERS/Leah Millis/Pool/File Photo

ANKARA, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Turkey is not exporting products that could be used in Russia’s war effort, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday, after U.S. warnings this month about exports of chemicals, microchips and other items.

“It is not true that we have exported to Russia products that can be used in the defence industry,” Cavusoglu said. “We asked the United States to notify (us) if there are any violations on this issue.”

Speaking after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Ankara, Cavusoglu also said Turkey will not allow U.S. and European sanctions to be violated in or via Turkey, and Ankara is taking steps to prevent it.

A top U.S. Treasury official visited Turkish government and private sector officials earlier this month to urge more cooperation in disrupting the flow of goods that can be used by Moscow’s defence industries.

Following Moscow’s incursion about a year ago, Western countries implemented export restrictions and sanctions. Nonetheless, supply lines from Turkey, Hong Kong, and other trading centers have remained open.

Throughout the war, Ankara has maintained a balance between its strong relations with Moscow and Kiev, hosted early negotiations between the parties, and assisted in negotiating an agreement for grain exports from Ukraine.

The growth in Turkey’s trade with Russia, according to Cavusoglu, is mostly attributable to Ankara’s sizable oil and gas imports, the price of which has tripled. He added that Turkey will take action if a violation is discovered.

By Huseyin Hayatsever; Edited by News Gate Team

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