Turkey remained one of the only countries in Europe to maintain flights to and from Russia. Thanks to this largesse, the country has kept its tourism industry alive, of which the Russian market is the main emitter (5.9 million visitors in 2019). Now the US administration is pressuring Turkish agencies to stop Russian and Belarusian airlines using US-made planes. Other subjects are on the agenda.
More than 2,000 flights between Russia and Turkey
It is estimated that from October 1, 2022 until today, Russian and Belarusian airlines have performed more than 2,100 flights with Boeing aircraft.
The American authorities raise the tone on the aerial part
Senior US officials warned last month that Turks risk jail time, fines, loss of export privileges and other measures if they provide services such as refueling and spare parts to American-made planes flying to and from Russia and Belarus in violation of export controls imposed last year, officials said. U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce Thea Rozman Kendler delivered the message to Turkish officials during a visit to Turkey in December, the officials said.
The Turkish authorities have not yet responded
The warning to Turkey is a key test of whether the United States and its allies can succeed in isolating Russia in the long term, or whether Moscow can find a way to continue economic activity with the help of countries third parties who are at the heart of the Kremlin’s strategy to find partners outside the West. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry did not respond to a request for comment on the warning.
NATO (NATO) in question with Sweden and Finland
Within the ranks of NATO, all 30 members of the alliance must agree to welcome new members. There are many signs that Turkey and Hungary, which often side with Russia, might balk or at least try to demand certain concessions. Turkey, for example, has made requests to Sweden regarding groups or individuals it considers to be terrorists. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said it was time to end the process and admit Sweden.