Turkey is to increase its exports to Russia in the face of toughened Western sanctions against the country over the Ukrainian crisis, Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci has said.
Following talks with Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev on Tuesday, Zeybekci said Turkey sought to increase the bilateral trade volume with Russia to $100 billion from the current level of $32 billion, although he pointed out it would be a difficult task given the current state of bilateral economic relations.
Zeybekci said: “Both countries know very well that to come to such level requires lifting commercial restrictions and customs walls, including logistical tariff restrictions and physical and customs restrictions. But both have certain sensitivities in doing that.
“Turkey is to increase rather than limit its exports to Russia, to support such an important neighbor in such a difficult situation.”
To put pressure on the Russian government over the conflict in Ukraine, the EU and the U.S. have announced various sanctions, some restricting Russia’s three biggest oil companies – Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom Neft, and banning them from raising long-term capital on European financial markets.