Market: US Treasury warns Ankara and Abu Dhabi over non-compliance with sanctions

by Daphne Psaledakis and Humeyra Pamuk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. Treasury sanctions official, on a trip to Turkey and the Middle East next week, will warn countries and companies they could lose access to the U.S. market if they do business with entities restricted by the United States, with Washington attacking Russia’s attempts to evade sanctions linked to the war in Ukraine.

Brian Nelson, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, will travel to Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey from January 29 to February 3 and meet with government officials as well as businesses and financial institutions to reaffirm that Washington will continue to aggressively enforce its sanctions, a Treasury spokesman told Reuters.

“Individuals and institutions operating in permissive jurisdictions risk losing access to U.S. markets because they do business with sanctioned entities or fail to exercise due diligence,” the spokesperson said.

While in the region, Brian Nelson will discuss the Treasury’s efforts to combat Russian attempts to evade sanctions and export controls following the country’s war in Ukraine, as well as the Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region, illicit financing risks that undermine growth and foreign investment.

The trip is the latest visit by a senior Treasury official to Turkey to discuss sanctions, following a series of warnings issued last year as Washington ramped up pressure on Ankara to ensure US restrictions were enforced. against Russia.

Brian Nelson’s trip coincides with a period of tense relations between the United States and Turkey, the two NATO allies displaying their disagreement on a number of subjects.

The Treasury leader will visit Ankara and Istanbul, the country’s main economic center, on February 2 and 3. It will warn companies and banks to avoid transactions related to possible dual-use technology transfers, which could ultimately be used by the Russian military, the spokesperson said.

Washington is also concerned about the circumvention of US sanctions against Iran.

Last month, the United States imposed sanctions on Turkish businessman Sitki Ayan and his network of companies accusing him of facilitating the sale of oil and money laundering for the account of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

While in the UAE, Brian Nelson will note the “low sanctions compliance” in the country, the spokesman also said.

Washington has imposed a series of sanctions on companies based in the United Arab Emirates for non-compliance with sanctions linked to Iran and on Thursday designated a United Arab Emirates-based aviation company for its support of Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group, who are fighting in Ukraine.

(French version Benjamin Mallet)

Copyright © 2023 Thomson Reuters

Source link -84