Turkish banks refuse transactions from Russia

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Turkey has been on the radar of its Western allies, who are scrutinizing its economic exchanges with Russia.

The only NATO country not to apply sanctions, Turkey has in fact become one of the main entry points for goods destined for Russian territory, with a sharp increase in exports since 2022. But since the end of December, some Turkish banking establishments limit, or even block, transactions from Russia. 

The Central Bank of Türkiye.

REUTERS - Umit Bektas

By: RFI Follow


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With our correspondent in Istanbul


Anne Andlauer

Turkish exporters are finding it increasingly difficult to receive payments from their Russian customers.

In an interview with the Turkish-language site of Russian state media Sputnik, the Russian ambassador to Ankara confirms that “ 

some Turkish banks 

” now refuse transactions from Russian companies. 

According to him, these banks invoke Western sanctions to justify this tightening.

The Assembly of Turkish Exporters (TIM) speaks of a “ 


” linked to end-of-year audits and expects an improvement next month.

The Russian ambassador, for his part, reports “ 

intense contacts

 ” with the Turkish authorities.

Turkey has always refused to impose sanctions on Russia.

Trade has even increased significantly since the start of the war in Ukraine.

According to official Turkish figures, exports to Russia jumped 62% in value in 2022, and the rise continued last year.

This includes dual-use goods, such as dishwashers, which help fuel the Kremlin's war machine.

This situation provokes the annoyance of Turkey's Western allies, who covertly accuse it of having become one of the hubs for circumventing sanctions.

Read alsoTurkey: between Russia, Ukraine and NATO, Recep Tayyip Erdogan's balancing act


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