Turkiye blocks passage of sanctioned goods to Russia: report

Turkiye has stopped the transit of sanctioned goods through Turkish waters (or over land) to Russia, reports Bloomberg.

The sudden move, effective March 1st, saw the Turkish government order a halt to the transit of such goods via Turkiye, in compliance with the Western sanctions, a senior Turkish official speaking on condition of anonymity told Bloomberg.

Ekaterina Lazutkina, co-owner of Moscow-based Vendor Cargo, told Bloomberg that “the cargo clearance system in Turkiye simply stopped working”.

Turkiye’s exports to Russia rose to $9.3bn in 2022, up from $5.8bn the year before. The country’s new stance appeared to be linked to the EU expanding sanctions on Russia, said Mustafa Boyacioglu, CEO of Istanbul-based customs brokerage Subasi. Confirming the blockage, he said there had been no formal announcement, nor had there been a transitory period.

“We’re hearing that a solution could be to first ship the products to countries unrelated to sanctions, such as those in Central Asia,” Boyacioglu told Bloomberg.