Turkey dismisses concerns over U.S. sanctions warning

Turkey’s finance minister on Friday dismissed warnings of possible U.S. sanctions on Turkish businesses dealing with their Russian counterparts slapped with sanctions over the war in Ukraine.

The remarks follows a letter from U.S. Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo to country’s top business association earlier this week, warning Turkish companies of consequences should they conduct business with Russians or Russian institutions under U.S. sanctions.

Turkey has carried out a balancing out with Russia and Ukraine since the beginning of the war that began in February, stepping up as a mediator with the nations with which is shares a maritime border in the Black Sea.

Ankara has denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but unlike most other NATO countries, has stopped short of slapping punitive measures on Russia and has further strengthened ties with the country, prompting the U.S. government to issue a letter to the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSIAD)warning on possible sanctions.

Treasury and Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati in a series of tweets on Friday said it was “meaningless” for Turkish businesses to worry about the letter from Washington.

“Turkey is one of the most important political and economic power centres of the world. Our business world should feel the power of the state alongside it at all times,” Nebati wrote.

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin  and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan agreed to boost cooperation in the transport, agriculture and construction industries, following a meeting in Russia’s southern city of Sochi.

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