French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday urged his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to push back against attempts to dodge sanctions imposed on Russia over its war in Ukraine, Agence France-Presse reported.
Macron “underlined the importance of the European sanctions regimes in stopping Russia’s escalation, and called to fight any circumvention strategies,” the French presidency said after talks on the sidelines of a summit in Prague.
There has been concern in Europe and the United States that Turkey — which has not imposed sanctions on Moscow — is being used as a haven for those looking to avoid the Western measures.
Turkish trade with Russia has exploded during the war in Ukraine to growing irritation from Washington, which worries Russian oligarchs and big businesses are using Turkish entities to evade sanctions.
Ankara last month bowed to pressure from the United States by confirming that the last three banks still processing Russian card payments were pulling the plug.
The decision followed weeks of increasingly blunt warnings from Washington for NATO member Turkey to either limit its economic relations with Russia or face the threat of sanctions itself.
The EU on Friday imposed an eighth wave of sanctions on Russia in the latest battery of its unprecedented economic punishment of Moscow since the invasion in February.