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Russia seeks solutions to Turkish banks tightening rules

Russia on Thursday said it was aware of Turkish banks tightening rules on Russian clients, and is working with Türkiye to find mutually acceptable solutions.

In a call with reporters, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow was in dialogue with Türkiye over the issue, for which it blamed “aggressive” U.S. pressure.

Türkiye, which shares a maritime border with both Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea, has sought to maintain good ties with both nations since Moscow’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

It has voiced support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity but also opposes sanctions on Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly set to visit Türkiye on Feb. 12 to meet his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in what would be the Russian leader’s first trip to a NATO ally since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Türkiye has not sanctioned Russia, but its banks have been facing a risk of secondary sanctions for trading with Russian entities.

Banks are said to have expanded scrutiny of transactions related to Russia to avoid being subject to U.S. sanctions, leading to prolonged money transfers.

Turkish exporters to Russia earlier this month said they faced more payment problems in recent weeks due to year-end auditing, but the situation should get better soon.

They said money transfers made by Russian companies not included in Western sanctions imposed over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine have been conducted without problems, but end-year auditing and checks have caused a slowdown.

Russia ranks seventh in the list of countries to which Turkish companies export, with some $9.4 billion worth of goods exported last year, according to the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) data.

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