The United States and the European Union want the Turkish financial sector to stop acting as a “back door” for Russia, thus evading Western sanctions. A British newspaper reported that Western officials informed Ankara Financial Times.
Turkey does not participate in Western sanctions against Russia. The United States and the European Union are particularly concerned about Turkish banks integrated with Russia’s Mir payment system for domestic transactions.
Pressure on Turkey is part of Western efforts to better regulate sanctions against Russia, because they have so far “failed” to harm the Russian economy.
“The focus will now be on evading sanctions in the financial sector,” said one Western official. We are sending a clear message to third-party financial institutions to prevent them from entering into any association with the Mir payments network, which poses the risk of evading sanctions. We have to close the goat lanes.
Turkey says it is following a “balanced path” regarding the conflict in Ukraine. But the West is worried. Thus, although Turkey supports Ukraine militarily and politically, it does not follow the economic sanctions imposed by the West and wants to establish closer economic relations with Russia, for example by expanding the Mir payments network in Turkey.
Five of the largest Turkish banks are already members of the Mir payment system, which Russia developed as an alternative to Visa and Mastercard.
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