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EU warns Turkey that «now is not the time to increase cooperation with Russia» after gas export announcement

News 360 logo News 360 10/24/2022 Daniel Stewart
The presidents of Turkey and Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, respectively. - -/Kremlin/dpa © Provided by News 360 The presidents of Turkey and Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, respectively. - -/Kremlin/dpa

The European Union warned Turkey on Monday that in the midst of the war in Ukraine "this is not the time to increase cooperation with Russia", after Ankara announced an agreement last week to be a hub for the redistribution of Russian gas to third countries.

"In the context of Russian aggression and repeated violations of international law it cannot be business as usual with Russia and this is not the time to increase cooperation with Russia," the bloc's foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano told Europa Press.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed an agreement with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, for Russian gas to reach Turkish territory on European soil, on the shores of the Black Sea, and to take advantage of the Turkstream infrastructure, which according to Putin is currently the most reliable gas pipeline for exports.

Precisely this Wednesday the Commissioner for Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, travels to Ankara for a mission lasting several days during which he will be able to discuss these issues with the Turkish authorities. EU sources insist that sanctions against Russia and alignment with EU policy are "cornerstones" of the relationship with partner countries, more so in the case of Turkey which has not adhered to EU restrictions.

The United States has already insisted on this issue in its contacts with Turkey, warning that the country cannot become a "sanctuary" for transactions with Moscow, and bypass Western sanctions on Russia.

Tension between Washington and Ankara has soared since the beginning of the Russian invasion because of the ambiguous role of the Turkish authorities. In the midst of the energy crisis, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said that if the United States wants more barrels of crude oil production and lower prices, it must lift sanctions on Saudi Arabia, Venezuela or Iran.

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