- From May to July, Turkey and Russia traded 8,213 vehicles between them via cargo ships each month.
- That’s up from the monthly average of 5,208 vehicles from January to April.
- Turkish exports to Russia hit an eight-year-high of $2.91 billion in the first half of 2022.
In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many countries have hit Russia with sweeping sanctions and downplayed their relationship with the Kremlin. Turkey, on the other hand, is playing that relationship up — and has even boasted about a surge in trade with Russia.
On Friday, Turkish transport Minister Adil Karaismailoglu took to Twitter to tout the trade surge. He retweeted the country’s Maritime General Directorate announcement about a 58% jump in the monthly average number of vehicles traded with Russia.
—Adil Karaismailoğlu (@akaraismailoglu) August 12, 2022
From May to July, Turkey and Russia traded 8,213 vehicles between them via cargo ships each month — up from the monthly average of 5,208 from January to April. The Turkish authority attributed the surge to new shipping lines between the two countries.
Overall, trade between the two countries has boomed, with Turkish exports to Russia hitting $2.91 billion in the first half of 2022, according to the official Turkish Statistical Institute, or TurkStat. That’s an eight-year high, according to a Bloomberg analysis of TurkStat’s data.
Ankara has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but has not sanctioned Russia or closed its airspace to the country. Ties between the two countries seem to be deepening, as five of Turkey’s banks have started using Russia’s Mir payments system, raising concerns that it could be used to skirt sanctions.
Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Russian President Vladimir Putin in the resort city of Sochi, marking their second get-together just three weeks after they met in Iran.
As Turkey is a NATO member, its relationship with Russia is worrying Western officials, some of whom are thinking about punitive actions for the country, such as asking companies to reduce financing to Turkish firms, the Financial Times reported on August 7. There had been no official talks about such actions for Turkey so far, the media outlet added.
Turkey’s fragile economy means Ankara has much at stake when it comes to its economic relations with Russia, which is one of its top trading partners. Turkey is also the top destination for Russian tourists, with 7 million of them visiting in 2019, per Nikkei.