U.S. Treasury warns Turkey against becoming ‘illicit financing haven’

U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo visited Turkey between June 22 and 24 to discuss Western sanctions on Russia with officials from Turkey’s Finance and Foreign Ministries, the Treasury said in a statement on Saturday.

Adeyemo “traveled to Turkey on June 22-24 to engage the NATO Ally and partner on Turkish and regional economic issues, combatting terrorist financing, and Russia’s war against Ukraine,” the Treasury said.

In Adeyemo’s meetings with ministry and financial institution officials, “all parties expressed a desire to ensure that Turkey is not used as a haven for illicit financing and that the integrity of its banking sector continues to be protected”, it continued.

Turkey has not joined the United States and the European Union in imposing severe sanctions on Russia, giving Russian oligarchs the incentive to seek Turkish citizenship via investment schemes.

Real estate sales to Russian buyers grew by 96 percent in February, and by May, annual sales had increased tenfold.

Largest banks and lenders in Russia as well as President Vladimir Putin himself have been targeted by Western sanctions.

Turkey has supported Ukraine, supplying the country with drones and military equipment, but has refrained from implementing sanctions. In several key projects including Turkey’s first nuclear power plant the two countries continue to cooperate.

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