Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan during talks in Lviv.

A website supported by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry calls for imposing restrictions against Turkish companies working in Russia

Turkey has requested “explanations” from Ukraine over what the Turkish media described as a campaign calling for sanctions against Turkish companies, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday. Turkish diplomats took steps to clarify the situation “both in Kiev and Ankara,” the minister told journalists.

Cavusoglu confirmed that Turkey is aware of an extensive Ukrainian “campaign” that targets not “just Turkish companies” but over 18,000 individuals and entities from various parts of the world, including the US and the EU over their supposed ties with Russia. However, it is “our companies that interest us,” he added.

The foreign minister’s comments came a day after a Turkish newspaper Aydinlik drew attention to a website apparently “affiliated with the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs” that lists individuals and entities it wants sanctioned over their alleged dealings with Russia.

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The Turkish government “requested clarifications” from the Ukrainian ambassador to Ankara and the government in Kiev on September 11, the paper reported. 

“Considering our existing strategic partnership, solidarity and cooperation with Ukraine, it’s expected that Turkish individuals and organizations won’t be targeted by sanctions,” a diplomatic source told Aydinlik.

The ‘War & sanctions’ website, which describes itself as “the main database of sanctions imposed over Russia’s attack on Ukraine,” says it is supported by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and the National Agency on Corruption Prevention. It also features lists of companies and individuals “that have already been subjected to sanctions” and those, who “are yet to be subjected to sanctions.”

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Among other things, it lists foreigners working for Russian companies and foreign companies which have assets in Russia and thus should be targeted with sanctions “for their support of Russia’s war against Ukraine.” 

Subsidiary companies of at least three Turkish banks – Ziraat Bank, Isbank and Credit Europe Bank – are on the list, among thousands of other entities.

Kiev has not publicly commented on the Turkish backlash so far, but Ukraine has repeatedly called on various nations, including the US and its allies in Europe and elsewhere, to keep adding sanctions pressure on Moscow.

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