Shipping companies latest to feel effects of “West’s very tight blockade against Turkey’s banking system", says report

By bne IntelliNews March 5, 2024

Shipping companies are the latest to feel the effects of “the West’s very tight blockade against the Turkish banking system”, according to a report by Turkish publication Ekonomim.

In December, the US announced that any financial institutions enabling business with Russia could be subject to secondary sanctions, with Washington determined to raise the effectiveness of the Ukraine War-triggered sanctions it has imposed on Moscow. There are indications in Turkey’s official trade figures that the move is achieving the kind of results US sanctions enforcers are hoping for. Ekonomim noted that the Turkish trade ministry has received “a pile of complaints” from companies over banks’ refusals to make remittances from Russian financial institutions.

The authorities, it also reported, have started carrying out some transactions through one of Turkey’s state banks, but the move does not cover all export items.

Sources in Turkey’s shipping sector told the publication that Turkish shipowners acquired additional vessels for trading with Russia but, partly due to the current problems in obtaining payments for goods, ships were standing idle in port.

Shipping representatives also complained that there were difficulties in competing with transit companies that were continuing to deliver cargoes while ignoring sanctions, operating without official insurance and using alternative payment methods.

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