By Daphne Psaledakis and Humeyra Pamuk
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. Treasury Department sanctions official will visit Turkey and the Middle East next week where he will warn countries and businesses that they Possibly they will lose access to U.S. markets if they do business with U.S.-restricted entities, as Washington cracks down on Russian attempts to evade sanctions imposed over the Ukraine war.
Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson will travel to Oman, the United Arab The emirate and Turkey, in meetings with government officials as well as businesses and financial institutions, reiterated that Washington will continue to vigorously enforce the sanctions, a Treasury spokesman told Reuters. pokesperson said.
In the region, Nelson will discuss Treasury’s efforts to combat Russia’s evasion of sanctions and export controls that are part of a brutal war against Ukraine, Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region, illegal Financial risks can undermine economic growth and foreign investment.
The visit marks the latest visit by a senior Treasury official to Turkey to discuss sanctions, following a string of warnings from U.S. Treasury and Commerce officials last year as Washington ramped up pressure on Ankara To ensure enforcement of US restrictions on Russia.
Nelson’s trip comes at a time of tension between the US and Turkey as the two NATO allies disagree over hosts
Most recently, Turkey’s refusal to green-light Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids rattled Washington, while Ankara was frustrated with its request to buy F-16 fighter jets There is growing ties to whether the two Nordic countries can join the alliance.
Nielsen will visit Turkey’s capital Ankara and financial center Istanbul on February 2-3. The spokesman said he would warn companies and banks that they should avoid deals related to the potential transfer of dual-use technology that could end up being used by the Russian military.
and military applications.
Washington and its allies have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Moscow since the invasion, which has killed thousands and left Ukrainian cities in ruins.
Turkey condemns Russian incursion and sends armed drones to Ukraine. At the same time, it opposes Western sanctions against Russia and has close ties with Black Sea neighbors Moscow and Kyiv.
It also strengthens trade and tourism with Russia. Some Turkish companies have bought or attempted to buy Russian assets of Western partners that have been withdrawn due to sanctions, while others keep significant assets in the country.
But Ankara promised not to circumvent international sanctions in Turkey.
Washington is also concerned about US evasion of sanctions on Iran.
The United States last month imposed sanctions on prominent Turkish businessman Sitki Ayan and his network of companies accusing him of facilitating oil sales and money laundering by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. country, the spokesperson said.
Washington imposed a series of sanctions on United Arab Emirates-based companies for evading Iran-related sanctions and on Thursday designated a UAE-based airline because It backs the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary company that is fighting the war in Ukraine.
(This story has been corrected to change title to UAE, Turkey, not Middle East; added Turkey in 1st paragraph)