Turkey not to toe Western line on Russia sanctions: Cavusoglu

Turkey’s top diplomat made the comments to the Lider Haber TV channel in the run-up to the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections, due to take place on Sunday, Russia Today Reported. 
“We are not going to join the unilateral sanctions imposed against Russia by the US and the EU. Our own benefit and prosperity come first,” Cavusoglu explained. 
The minister also criticized the opposition presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who has said he would give priority to developing ties with the West. According to Cavusoglu, the rival to incumbent president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has shown himself to be inconsistent in his statements; at one rally, Kilicdaroglu reportedly said that nothing would endanger the relationship between Turkey and Russia.
The EU has repeatedly voiced concern about the country’s refusal to participate in Western sanctions against Russia, and accused the Middle Eastern state of becoming a ‘transit hub’ for Russia, thus enabling the economic blockade to be circumvented.
Ankara is one of Moscow’s main trading partners, with both sides having pledged to deepen economic cooperation and expand bilateral trade.
Last year, Turkey and Russia signed a roadmap for economic cooperation that envisages bringing bilateral trade turnover to $100 billion a year. The two have also agreed to introduce the Russian ruble as a settlement currency for bilateral trade, including for Russian natural-gas supply.
Data shows that, around this time last year, Turkey became one of the top five exporters to Russia. In 2021, it ranked 11th, ahead of the US, France, Japan, Poland and Italy.

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