US Sanctions Turkish Firms For Helping Russia In Ukraine Invasion

Key Takeaways:

  • The United States has imposed fresh sanctions on 150 entities
  • Five Turkish corporations, as well as one Turkish national, are among those sanctioned
  • Ankara’s trade with Moscow has increased since Russia invaded Ukraine
The US Treasury department has imposed sanctions on five Turkish corporations & one Turkish national for helping Russia evade sanctions.
The US Treasury Department has sanctioned Turkish firms for helping Russia. Pic Credit: Canva

YEREVAN ( — The US Treasury and State departments have imposed sanctions on five Turkish corporations and one Turkish national. The move comes amid fresh crackdowns on shipping companies and other entities who have allegedly assisted Russia in evading sanctions related to its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The Biden administration has accused these shipping companies of engaging in activities that support Russia’s defense ministry. In particular, these companies allegedly helped repair vessels linked to the Russian navy.

Moreover, US authorities have found evidence that they transported Russian goods with military applications, such as drones and sensors.

“With today’s sanctions, the United States is continuing our relentless work to target Russia’s military supply chains and deprive Putin of the equipment, technology, and services he needs to wage his barbaric war on Ukraine. We have also made clear that those individuals and entities who profit from invasion and their proximity to the Kremlin will be held accountable,”  

Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen said following the announcement. 

NATO member Turkey helping Russia?

This latest comprehensive set of US sanctions targets over 150 entities. Besides Turkish firms, those on the list include Russia’s largest car manufacturer Avtovaz, and companies based in the United Arab Emirates and Georgia. Remarkably, this sanctions package ranks among the largest ever imposed by the US State and Treasury departments in their history.

However, including Turkish firms has been the highlight of this crackdown. Türkiye, as it is now officially called, is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The defense alliance has led the efforts to impose strict embargos on Moscow to cripple its economy. 

Several high-ranking US officials, including Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, have traveled to Turkey following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. These visits are part of a concerted effort to exert pressure and discourage Turkish companies from assisting Russia in bypassing US sanctions.

Erdogan has also been reluctant to support the bids of Sweden and Finland to join NATO, a move that pleased Moscow.

Washington is further straining its complex relationship with Ankara by imposing sanctions on major Turkish companies.

“Russia continues to rely on third-country entities to keep importing much-needed dual-use goods to enable its unprovoked war of aggression on Ukraine. The US Department of the Treasury has repeatedly raised the issue of the shipment or transshipment of dual-use goods to Russia with the Government of Türkiye and the Turkish private sector,” 

the Treasury Department said in its press release

Margiana Insaat Dis Ticaret and Demirci Bilisim Ticaret Sanayi are among those Turkish firms accused of helping Moscow import “much-needed dual-use goods to enable its unprovoked war of aggression in Ukraine.”

Sanction on Turkish firms isn’t surprising

Turkey, which boasts of having the second-largest army in NATO, is threading a dangerous line. Its long-time ruler, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has tried to “balance out” the West and Russia. This delicate balancing act has grown more intricate since Russia’s extensive invasion of Ukraine. While it has sent weapons to help Kyiv, its refusal to cut ties with Moscow hasn’t gone unnoticed.

In 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, Moscow emerged as Ankara’s top import partner. The total value of imported goods from Russia reached $58.85 billion. This is twice as high as in the corresponding period of 2021. 

Additionally, Turkey’s exports to Russia witnessed a significant upswing, totaling $9.34 billion in 2022 compared to $5.8 billion in 2021, as per data from the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

The US Treasury department has imposed sanctions on five Turkish corporations & one Turkish national for helping Russia evade sanctions.
Turkish Exports to Russia were $9.34 Billion in 2022. Credit: TradingEconomics

Last year, Türkiye’s exports reached $254 billion. Shipments to Russia skyrocketed by 122.3% between December 2021 and December 2022.

Doing business with Russia has proven to be quite lucrative for Ankara. With the latest sanctions in place, Turkey will come under renewed pressure to act within the interest of NATO partners. 

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