WASHINGTON D.C.: This week, the Biden administration imposed sanctions on five Turkish companies and a Turkish national for helping Russia evade sanctions imposed for its war against Ukraine.
The targeted shipping and trade companies are accused of helping repair sanctioned vessels tied to Russia's defense ministry and facilitating the transfer of "dual-use goods."
The action, part of a more extensive package of measures hitting Russia with sanctions on more than 150 targets, was taken at a delicate moment for U.S.-Turkey relations, with Washington hoping Ankara will ratify NATO membership for Sweden.
Despite the sanctions imposed on Russia after its February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, supply channels from Black Sea neighbor Turkey and other trading hubs have remained open.
In a statement, the U.S. Treasury Department said that it imposed sanctions on Turkey-based companies Margiana Insaat Dis Ticaret and Demirci Bilisim Ticaret Sanayi, as Russia relies on them to import "much-needed dual-use goods to enable its unprovoked war of aggression on Ukraine."
The State Department also targeted Turkey-based shipyard agency ID Ship Agency, its owner Ilker Dogruyol, and CTL Limited for being an intermediary that ships U.S. and European-made electronic components to Russia.
NATO member Turkey has tried to maintain good relations with Moscow and Kyiv during the war and has opposed the sanctions against Russia on principle. However, Ankara has said that it will not circumvent the sanctions, and the Russian military cannot use the shipped products.
Turkey's ties with the U.S. and Europe have been strained over its reluctance to support the bids of Sweden and Finland to join NATO after Russia invaded Ukraine. While Finland's membership was confirmed in April, Sweden's application remains held up by Turkey and Hungary.