The volume of trade between Ankara and Moscow has exploded in recent months, a sign of significant transit activity to help Russia evade international sanctions.

This is the amount of the increase in Turkish exports to Russia during the month of June. This significant increase in trade between the two countries is surprising as this volume drops drastically with Moscow’s other trading partners, who fully or partially apply the international sanctions put in place following the invasion of Ukraine.

The economic daily Dünya, which spoke to Turkish experts in the logistics sector, explains that many Russian entrepreneurs have set up companies in Turkey, which buy goods from Europe and Asia before sending them to Russia.

Turkey has thus become the main transit point for goods to Russia. One way to help the Russian economy escape sanctions, which Ankara refuses to apply, so as not to offend Moscow on which it depends economically and on many geopolitical issues in the Caucasus or Syria.

The meeting between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan on August 5 in Russia paved the way for an even stronger economic partnership between the two countries. Upon his return, the Turkish president thus announced that Ankara would agree to pay for part of the gas it buys from Russia in rubles, and no longer in dollars.

A boon for the two countries, which have also agreed on the generalization in Turkey of the Russian banking payment system Mir. An agreement which concerns five Turkish banks in particular and which should benefit Russian businessmen and oligarchs who would make Turkey the hub of their business.

The influx of Russian money into Turkey is, moreover, a lifeline for President Erdogan whose popularity is falling as Turkey’s economic crisis worsens, but it is a dangerous bet.

The Financial Times reveals that several officials from Western countries are considering the possibility of imposing sanctions to force Erdogan to backtrack.



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