US pressures Turkey to take tougher stance on Russia
The US sends a delegation to probe Turkey's "compliance" with sanctions against Russia.
US officials, in talks with their Turkish counterparts, addressed compliance with financial sanctions imposed on Russia regarding the war in Ukraine - this comes as the latest move from the West to pressure Turkey into taking a tougher stance towards Russia.
Elizabeth Rosenberg, the assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes at the US Treasury, led a delegation to meet the Turkish governor of the central bank, along with business groups in both Istanbul and Ankara earlier this week.
This visit comes a week after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin held discussions in Astana, Kazakhstan. The meeting led the two leaders to agree to boost energy ties and to set up an international gas hub in Turkey, allowing Turkey to become a key route for Russian energy flows into Europe, particularly after the West blew up Nord Streams 1 and 2.
Turkey, after the war, has been deepening its economic and trade ties with Russia, prompting Western worries. In June, Deputy US Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo visited Turkey to warn Ankara against doing business with Russia.
The US Treasury in September issued a warning against Turkey if they were to go through with the Russian Mir payment system. This, at the time, alarmed Turkey: The 5 Turkish banks that were participating in the payment system quit it.
Previously, Turkey has condemned Russia's war in Ukraine and spoke out against the referendums in the four regions. On Tuesday, Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for the Turkish presidency, confirmed that the talks were underway about postponing Turkey's energy payments to Russia until 2024 were "ongoing."