EU acknowledges decrease in Turkish re-exports to Russia, flags new concerns

The EU’s engagement with Türkiye has focused on halting the reexport of approximately 50 sensitive goods produced in the EU to Russia.

The European Commission has reported a significant reduction in the reexport of sensitive goods from Türkiye to Russia in recent months, according to a statement by spokesperson Francesca Dalboni. This development comes as part of ongoing efforts by the European Union to limit Russia’s access to technologies that could support its military operations in Ukraine.

Dalboni, speaking to Turkish reporters in Brussels, welcomed the decrease in direct reexports of sensitive items from Türkiye to Russia for the first quarter of 2024. The EU has implemented 13 sanctions packages against Russia since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict in early 2022. While Türkiye, not being an EU member, has not officially joined these sanctions, it has assured the bloc that it will not serve as a conduit for circumventing them.

The EU’s engagement with Türkiye has focused on halting the reexport of approximately 50 sensitive goods produced in the EU to Russia. As a result of dialogue between Ankara and Brussels, monthly reexports of such products, including chips and optical readers, have decreased from 17 million euros to 5 million euros.

However, despite this positive trend, the EU has raised new concerns about what it terms suspicious trade from Türkiye to Kazakhstan. Dalboni noted a significant increase in the export of sensitive items from Türkiye to Kazakhstan, suggesting that these goods may not be reaching their declared destination. The EU has labelled this pattern as false transit and has urged Turkish authorities to take action to prevent these goods from being illegally diverted to support Russian military efforts.