Suspension of transit of some goods through Turkey to Russia is not critical. The situation will in no way affect bilateral trade and the level of relations between the two countries. This was announced to Izvestia in the Russian-Turkish Business Council (RTDS). Previously, transport companies reported that Turkey’s customs service rejects transit declarations for goods that are on EU sanctions lists. That is, it essentially blocks the parallel import scheme. What are the reasons for what is happening, understood “Izvestia”.
On March 9, the media reported that Turkey had stopped the transit of goods to Russia. Sanctioned products passing through the territory of the republic fell under the restriction. Problems with the execution of export and transit declarations for goods bound for the Russian Federation began on March 7. Wherein, it was reported that Turkish customs officers block cargo if they come from a state that has joined the anti-Russian sanctions.
Izvestia’s source in the logistics services market confirmed the existence of problems. According to him, Turkish customs officials blocked exactly parallel imports – goods, the commodity nomenclature of foreign economic activity (TN VED) of which is on the sanctions list.
— Apparently, since this year, Turkey has introduced a ban on the supply of parallel imports through the country. Recently, our company made air transportation from Dubai. Agents on the side of the UAE offer to transport via Sri Lanka – they do not advise via Turkey. Everyone was aware of the likely problems on the other side and took the cargo aside in advance, ”Izvestia’s interlocutor explained.
He added that agents and customs officers from the Turkish side do not officially announce anything, “since this is tantamount to admitting one’s guilt.”
According to Bloomberg, citing an unnamed high-ranking Turkish official, the authorities of the republic ordered from March 1 to stop the transit of sanctioned goods through the country to the Russian Federation.
Ankara is not aware
There was no official confirmation of the information on the ban on the transit of goods from the Turkish authorities. The Russian embassy in Ankara told Izvestia that the diplomatic mission was “working to clarify the circumstances and background of the emerging difficulties with the registration of trade operations of a number of Russian companies.”
— We are in contact with the Turkish authorities. We hope to resolve the situation as soon as possible.the embassy said.
Izvestia also sent a request to the Turkish embassy in Moscow and to the Turkish Council for Foreign Economic Relations.
The Turkish MP, head of the Innovation Party Ozturk Yilmaz, in an interview with Izvestia, noted that at the official level there was no talk of Ankara joining the EU sanctions.
— Turkey is not a member of the European Union and does not feel obliged to implement any new sanctions against Russia. I do not think that this (transit ban. – Izvestia) is true information. There may be some obstacles in terms of transporting goods from Turkey to Russia. But this, I think, is not connected with any new sanctions,” he clarified.
Director of the Russian-Turkish Business Council (RTBC) Alexey Egarmin also believes that it can be more about technical difficulties than about Ankara’s political decision.
— So far, we judge the situation solely by the responses of the business, but not all companies have problems. There is no official data. As far as we understand, the authorities of the country have not taken any regulatory or normative decisions so far. That’s why now we can say that our economic cooperation is developing taking into account the previous principles– explained the head of the RTDS.
According to him, the delay may be of a purely technical nature and is unlikely to last longer than a few days, because it will not cause a serious blow to bilateral trade.
– But even if this situation with the blocking of transit cargo continues for a longer period of time, this will not harm the Russian Federation. The country has fairly long borders that allow you to look for new entry points for supplies,” Yegarmin added.
He recalled that spare parts for cars, machine parts, household appliances and chemicals, as well as technical devices were traditionally transported to Russia through Turkey or from it.
Causes and consequences
At the same time, a number of experts one gets the impression that Ankara could have included the mechanism that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken requested at the end of Februaryvisiting Turkey.
On February 20, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu recalled that Turkey does not take part in unilateral sanctions, but does not intend to allow EU and US restrictions to be circumvented through its territory. At the same time, the minister noted: the volume of bilateral trade with the Russian Federation has grown and more than 60% of this volume is actually gas and energy.
“But these are not electronics or technological products that would be used in the defense industry, and it is wrong to say that we export such products to the Russian Federation,” Cavusoglu added.
On March 3, the British Financial Times reported that the US Treasury had warned four countries to comply with sanctions and not provide Russia with ways to circumvent these measures. Authorities of Turkey, China, Armenia and Uzbekistan received a warningthe article says.
Washington is putting pressure on Ankara since last year, but Blinken’s latest trip “was connected with the desire of the United States to show support after the earthquakes in southeast Turkey,” he said. expert on Turkey Yashar Niyazbaev. Wherein if the country changes the status quo in relations with the Russian Federation, it will lose significant income – we are talking about tens of billions of dollarshe remarked.
– Will Ankara allow the US to point it out on this issue? Moreover, the ball is on Turkey’s side. Even in the issue of Sweden and Finland joining NATO,” Niyazbaev added.
There was no political decision of Ankara in this case – the delay in transit cargo is due to technical difficulties, political scientist Kerim Has is sure.
— Every day Western countries adopt packages of sanctions against Russia. Therefore, a pause may have been needed to adapt the Turkish customs system to the new conditions,” he said. — It is unlikely that Erdogan will change his position on the conflict in Ukraine under pressure from Washington. Before the elections, it is important for him to support the country’s economy, which will play a key role in the upcoming vote.. There is pressure from the United States, but not to such an extent as to force Turkey to skew relations with Russia and harm its own economy.
Ankara is trying to maintain a balance of interests, while trading with the Russian Federation and observing the sanctions of the West, Turkish political scientist Onur Sinan Guzaltan also believes.
On March 10, a number of Russian media reported that Turkish customs officers promised to allow the transport of goods as early as March 13. There has been no official confirmation of this information from Turkey yet.