Exclusive: Top U.S. Treasury official to warn UAE, Turkey over sanctions evasion

Exclusive: Top U.S. Treasury official to warn UAE, Turkey over sanctions evasion

WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury Department’s prime sanctions official on a visit to Turkey and the Middle East subsequent week will warn international locations and companies that they may lose U.S. market entry in the event that they do enterprise with entities topic to U.S. curbs as Washington cracks down on Russian makes an attempt to evade sanctions imposed over its warfare in Ukraine.

Brian Nelson, undersecretary for terrorism and monetary intelligence, will journey to Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey from Jan. 29 to Feb. 3 and meet with authorities officers in addition to companies and monetary establishments to reiterate that Washington will proceed to aggressively implement its sanctions, a Treasury spokesperson advised Reuters.

“Individuals and establishments working in permissive jurisdictions threat doubtlessly shedding entry to U.S. markets on account of doing enterprise with sanctioned entities or not conducting acceptable due diligence,” the spokesperson stated.

While within the area, Nelson will talk about Treasury’s efforts to crack down on Russian efforts to evade sanctions and export controls imposed over its brutal warfare in opposition to Ukraine, Iran’s destabilizing exercise within the area, illicit finance dangers undermining financial development, and international funding.

The journey marks the most recent go to to Turkey by a senior Treasury official to talk about sanctions, following a string of warnings final yr by Treasury and Commerce Department officers, as Washington ramped up stress on Ankara to guarantee enforcement of U.S. curbs on Russia.


Nelson’s journey coincides with a interval of strained ties between the United States and Turkey as the 2 NATO allies disagree over a bunch of points.

Most lately, Turkey’s refusal to green-light the NATO bids of Sweden and Finland has troubled Washington, whereas Ankara is pissed off that its request to purchase F-16 fighter jets is more and more linked to whether or not the 2 Nordic international locations can be a part of the alliance.

Nelson will go to Ankara, the Turkish capital, and monetary hub Istanbul on Feb. 2-3. He will warn companies and banks that they need to keep away from transactions associated to potential dual-use expertise transfers, which may finally be utilized by Russia’s army, the spokesperson stated.

Dual-use objects can have each industrial and army purposes.

Washington and its allies have imposed a number of rounds of sanctions focusing on Moscow because the invasion, which has killed and wounded 1000’s and lowered Ukrainian cities to rubble.

Turkey has condemned Russia’s invasion and despatched armed drones to Ukraine. At the identical time, it opposes Western sanctions on Russia and has shut ties with each Moscow and Kyiv, its Black Sea neighbors.

It has additionally ramped up commerce and tourism with Russia. Some Turkish corporations have bought or sought to purchase Russian property from Western companions pulling again due to the sanctions, whereas others preserve giant property within the nation.

But Ankara has pledged that worldwide sanctions won’t be circumvented in Turkey.

Washington can be involved about evasion of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

The United States final month imposed sanctions on outstanding Turkish businessman Sitki Ayan and his community of corporations, accusing him of performing as a facilitator for oil gross sales and cash laundering on behalf of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

While within the United Arab Emirates, Nelson will notice the “poor sanctions compliance” within the nation, the spokesperson stated.

Washington has imposed a collection of sanctions on United Arab Emirates-based corporations over Iran-related sanctions evasion and on Thursday designated a UAE-based aviation agency over help to Russian mercenary firm the Wagner Group, which is preventing in Ukraine.

(This story has been corrected to change headline to UAE, Turkey, not Middle East; provides Turkey in paragraph 1)

Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Humeyra Pamuk
Editing by Don Durfee and Leslie Adler

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