The European Union’s foreign policy chief on Tuesday rejected claims that the bloc exported products to sanctioned Russia through Türkiye.
Josep Borrell made the remarks while answering questions from deputies at the General Assembly of the European Parliament held in Strasbourg, France.
Replying to a question from Spanish member of the European Parliament Antoni Comin on whether Türkiye helped Russia circumvent sanctions by selling it EU goods and what the EU would do about it, Borrell said he discussed the issue with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) about two weeks ago.
"Çavuşoğlu gave me information about Türkiye's imports from the EU and the country's exports to Russia which shows Türkiye's significant amount of exports to Russia," he said.
However, there was not a significant increase in Türkiye's imports from the EU, he added.
"So according to the statistics I got, there doesn't seem to be a theory that the EU has established an export triangle to Russia via Türkiye."
Noting that Türkiye has not conformed to the EU in sanctions against Russia, Borrell said: "We would like Türkiye to be in line with us because it is in the (EU-Türkiye) Customs Union. But I insist on the statistics that Çavuşoğlu gave me."
Türkiye has opted for a policy of backing Ukraine while maintaining relations with Russia since the start of the war.
The country has focused on bringing the Ukrainian and Russian sides to the table for negotiations to stop the conflict.
On July 22, Türkiye, the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports which had been paused in February due to Russia’s war on Ukraine. Except for a brief hiatus, it has enabled food shipments to the world ever since.