Turkey Seeks to Increase Trade Volume with EU

Cargo containers on a ship at a port in Qingdao, eastern China. AFP photo
Cargo containers on a ship at a port in Qingdao, eastern China. AFP photo
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Turkey Seeks to Increase Trade Volume with EU

Cargo containers on a ship at a port in Qingdao, eastern China. AFP photo
Cargo containers on a ship at a port in Qingdao, eastern China. AFP photo

Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci expected an update of the customs union agreement with the European Union to increase trade between the two sides to 200 billion dollars in 18 months.

Zeybekcin said at the Istanbul Financial Summit that the volume of trade between Turkey and EU could reach 500 billion dollars from its current level of 160 billion dollars within five years.

Turkey is a member of the customs union agreement since 1995. But it has faced challenges in updating it because of obstacles set by Germany, which urged the European Commission in July to suspend preparatory work on negotiations with Turkey about modernizing the union.

Germany claimed that Turkey was violating human rights after it arrested 10 activists, including a German national, accusing them of backing terrorist organizations.

Despite Berlin’s opposition to update the customs union agreement, Germany is considered Turkey’s top trade partner.

Trade volume between the two countries reaches 40 billion dollars, and around 8,000 German companies invest in different Turkish economic sectors, according to Zeybekci.

Meanwhile, Lukoil, Russia’s No.2 oil producer, said it would continue working on European projects and would keep its retail net in Turkey.

Lukoil Chief Executive Vagit Alekperov was quoted as saying that the firm plans to keep pumping 100 million tons of oil per year between 2018 and 2027 with projects outside Russia and will keep annual investment at $8 billion-$8.5 billion.



EU States Agree on 14th Sanctions Package Against Russia

The European Union flag inside the atrium during an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Havana)
The European Union flag inside the atrium during an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Havana)
TT

EU States Agree on 14th Sanctions Package Against Russia

The European Union flag inside the atrium during an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Havana)
The European Union flag inside the atrium during an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Havana)

European Union countries agreed on a 14th package of sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine, diplomats said on Thursday, including a ban on re-exports of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) in EU waters.
Belgium, which holds the rotating EU presidency until July 1, said on the X platform that the package "maximizes the impact of existing sanctions by closing loopholes".
Countries debated the new measures for over a month and ultimately watered down one of the Commission's proposals, aimed at preventing even more circumvention, at Germany's prompting, Reuters reported.
The dropped measure would have forced subsidiaries of EU companies in third countries to contractually prohibit the re-exports of their goods to Russia. The EU is keen to stop the flow of dual-use technology such as washing machine chips that could be used by Russia for military purposes.
An EU diplomat said Germany had asked for an impact assessment, and the measure could be included at a later date.
The ban on trans-shipments is the first restriction the bloc has applied to LNG. However, gas market experts say the measure will have little impact as Europe is still buying Russian gas itself, and trans-shipments via EU ports to Asia represent only around 10% of total Russian LNG exports.
The package also tightens measures against the shadow fleet moving Russian oil outside the price cap on Russian crude set by the Group of Seven (G7) nations. EU countries added tankers to the list of sanctioned entities as well as at least two Russian-owned ships moving military equipment from North Korea, diplomats said.
Overall, 47 new entities and 69 individuals were added to the EU sanctions list, bringing the total to 2,200. The package is expected to be formally approved when EU foreign ministers meet on Monday, diplomats said.