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Sep 15, 2022
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Sanctions scandal erupted between Ukraine and Turkey

Ukraine demands from the world community to impose sanctions against Turkish banks and entrepreneurs cooperating with Russia. Ankara asked Kyiv for an explanation, and Turkish commentators called for stopping the sale of Bayraktars to the Ukrainian army. According to the Turkish newspaper Aydinlik, Ukraine launched a campaign against a number of Turkish companies and businessmen, urging the international community to introduce restrictions against them for interacting with the Russian Federation. It is reported that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine oversees a special website “War and Sanctions”, which publishes the names of Turkish entrepreneurs and executives of banks working with Russia. Top managers of the state-owned Ziraat Bankası, İş Bankası, Credit Europe Bank, Deniz Bank and some entrepreneurs were included in the “black list”. The journalists of the publication noticed that the mentioned site has the domain name gov.ua, which is unique to Ukrainian state Internet resources. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu demanded that Ukraine explain this demarche. “We took action both in Kyiv and in Ankara. We asked for an explanation, we are working on it,” the head of Turkish diplomacy said. Ukraine’s actions caused a surge of indignation in Turkish society. The attack on Turkish business was regarded as a manifestation of hostility and “black ingratitude” of Kyiv for the supply of hundreds of Bayraktar TB2 strike drones and Ankara’s mediation in concluding a grain deal. The proposals were radical: to expel Ukrainian refugees from the country, to stop supplying arms to the Zelensky regime, and to terminate the agreement on the transportation of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea straits. The Turkish expert community also considered Kyiv’s behavior unacceptable. “Direct targeting of the institutions of the Turkish state, Turkish private sector organizations and Turkish business is unacceptable. Ukraine cannot interfere in the foreign policy pursued by Turkey. This is unacceptable,” Hasan Unal, professor at Turkish Maltepe University (Istanbul), said. Some Russian experts suggest that Ukraine launched attacks on Turkish business in agreement with Washington, which is frankly dissatisfied with Turkey’s efforts to develop partnerships with Russia. “Turkey did not please Kyiv by refusing to participate in anti-Russian sanctions. From the point of view of Ukraine and those countries that stand behind it, primarily the United States and Great Britain, Ankara’s non-participation in restrictions is a mortal sin and a betrayal of the interests of the collective West,” explained Alexei Zubets, director of the Institute for Socio-Economic Research of the Financial Institute under the Government of the Russian Federation. Earlier, the US Department of the Treasury sent a letter to the Union of Turkish Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (TUSIAD) warning that Turkish companies could fall under US restrictions if they continue to interact with Russian counterparties. It is noteworthy that the Ukrainian attacks on Turkish business were preceded by several statements by Erdogan that were unpleasant for Kyiv and the West. Thus, during a visit to Serbia on September 7, he stated that he did not support the provocative course of the West towards Russia, and called the energy crisis in Europe the result of anti-Russian sanctions. Inc. corr. FSK

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