Turkish companies sanctioned by US for “supporting Moscow in its war against Ukraine”

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on five Turkish companies and a Turkish national, accusing them of helping Russia evade sanctions and supporting Moscow in its war against Ukraine, Reuters said.

The designations target shipping and trade companies accused of helping repair sanctioned vessels tied to Russia’s defense ministry and helping the transfer of “dual-use goods.” The move is part of a bigger package of measures hitting Russia with sanctions on about 150 targets, including the country’s largest carmaker.

The action comes at a delicate moment for US-Turkey relations, with Washington hoping Ankara will ratify NATO membership for Sweden when the Turkish parliament reconvenes in early October.

The United States and its allies imposed extensive sanctions on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, but supply channels from Black Sea neighbor Turkey and other trading hubs have remained open, prompting Washington to issue repeated warnings about the export of chemicals, microchips and other products that can be used in Moscow’s war effort.

“For the past 18 months, we’ve shared our concerns with the Turkish government and private sector and informed them of the significant risks of doing business with those we’ve sanctioned who are tied to Russia’s war,” a senior Treasury official told Reuters, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The US Treasury Department in a statement said it imposed sanctions on Margiana Insaat Dis Ticaret and Demirci Bilisim Ticaret Sanayi, saying the Turkey-based companies were among those that Russia relied on for importing “much-needed dual-use goods to enable its unprovoked war of aggression on Ukraine.”

It said the former has made hundreds of shipments to sanctioned Russian entities that are part of the supply chain for producing military drones used in the Ukraine war, while the latter has sent sensors and measuring tools into Russia.

The US State Department imposed sanctions on Denkar Ship Construction for providing ship repair services to previously designated vessels of a company connected to the Russian Defense Ministry.

The State Department also targeted Turkey-based shipyard agency ID Ship Agency and its owner Ilker Dogruyol as well as CTL Limited, which the State Department said was an intermediary that ships electronic components of US and European origin to companies in Russia.

The broader sanctions package targets Russia’s industrial base, maritime sector and technology suppliers, as well as facilities producing and repairing Russian weapons systems.

Among those targeted was Russia’s largest carmaker, Avtovaz, while Gaz Group – another automotive manufacturer – was hit with a new round of sanctions.