Turkey has resumed the transit of European goods to Russia

Problems with the transit of European goods to Russia via Turkey are over: if on Monday morning there were still single problems at airports, until Tuesday customs officers will gradually release the cargo by all means of transport, employees of several logistics companies told VPost.

Last week, importers had to worry – since the beginning of March, Turkish customs services stopped handling transit shipments of European goods, both sanctioned and ordinary, to Russia. Turkey’s customs system simply blocked all transit clearances with the destination country “Russia,” logisticians said.

This happened soon after US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visited Turkey in February, one of whose tasks was to convince Turkey to comply with Western sanctions. Since there was no official explanation from the Turkish side, the Russians immediately assumed the worst – that the Turkish authorities listened to the United States and decided to leave Russia without parallel imports. Bloomberg, citing a senior Turkish official, wrote that the country, under pressure from Washington, decided to apply Western sanctions.

Last year, Turkey became one of the main hubs for the supply of products from European and American manufacturers to Russia: in 2022, exports from there to the Russian Federation increased from $5.8 billion to $9.3 billion, according to Turkish statistics.

Everything turned out to be easier. Turkey is part of a common customs zone with the European Union and had to enter data from the February package of EU sanctions into the New Computerized Transit System (NCTS), Turkish partners explained to the Russians, promising that the process would be completed within a few days. And that’s how it happened. In February, the European Union banned the supply of many types of equipment and electronics to Russia – power generators, pumps, binoculars, radars, snowmobiles, spare parts for trucks. And the United States banned the supply of consumer electronics and household appliances above $300, including over 25% of American technology. All this had to be taken into account.

Nothing has changed in the process of delivering goods from the sanctions list through Turkey, VPost interlocutors assure. Such goods never go directly to Russia from the supplier – they are either picked up by a Turkish company or transit to a third country – so formally, according to the documents, no one violates anything.


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