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bne IntelliNews – ISTANBUL BLOG: Turkey doubles oil imports from Russia. Which give?

This is news that has been in the pipeline for a long time – Turkey has, since the beginning of the year, increased its oil imports from Russia, including Ural and Siberian Light grades, to more than 200,000 barrels. per day (about 11,000 tons) from 98,000 bpd in the same period of 2021. Reuters reported the data on August 22.

[Article photo: Who will be the next Reza Zarrab?].

Turkey has two oil refiners. The biggest, Tupras (TUPRS), bought 111,000 bpd of Russian oil from January to August, up from 45,000 bpd in the same period last year, while the smaller player, state-owned Star Refinery Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (Socar), bought 90,000 bpd, up from 48,000 bpd a year ago.

Socar has a stake in the production of Russian Urals and Siberian Light.

Since August 22, Brent rose 46% year over year to $97, while Urals-Brent price difference (based on the last five-day moving average) stood at minus $25.

According to the last Data supplied by Turkey’s energy watchdog EPDK, Russia became Turkey’s main source of crude oil in May.

Table: Turkish crude oil imports by country.

Gibberish on sanctions

British media have recently published several reports that some Western officials are unhappy with the way Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkish regime is indulging in no-sanction plans against Ukraine’s war with Russia. Stories of ‘warnings’ and ‘upset’ Western capitals have spread from mainstream media players to smaller outlets. If this media rebuke continues, Erdogan’s camp will definitely cease to evade Russian sanctions, one might think. Think again. Mainstream media is a tool used by states everywhere. They don’t care about their cheap rate. That’s how they earn their living.

The United Kingdom is not a member of the European Union. Its foreign policy need not be caught up in the agony of Brussels. Why isn’t the British press calling on the British government to take action against the Turkish government’s failure to comply with the sanctions? Why doesn’t the mainstream UK media publish a single article criticizing Erdogan?

The “trade-off” is one of the main concepts in economics. Compromise was born in the UK. Revisiting the literature that began with Adam Smith will help understand how cheap headlines are a waste of paper, bandwidth, and time when the law of compromise rules.

Desperate Brexiters looking for a new trade to heal the severe wound they have inflicted on their country have long seen Turkey, another thorn in the side of the European project, as the most promising, while others calculations are also in play. , offering nothing from you, while Turkish military forces are inserted into all conflicts, from Syria to Karabakh to Libya, while preventing Erdogan from violating Russian sanctions is a no no. This would be contrary to the law of compromise.

Ultimately, doing business with the unraveling Europe, EU or non-EU, is a waste of time. Europe is not turning into a huge battlefield for the third time just because the United States has to face China.

As for the US approach to Erdogan working around sanctions and other blatant malicious behavior, the US shares the same compromises as its smaller cousins ​​in Europe.

On August 19, the US Treasury issued a statement treated by some media as if it were a bomb. The effect was actually more like a whoopee cushion. US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo has informed Turkish Deputy Finance Minister Yunus Elitas that Russian entities and individuals are seeking to use Turkey to circumvent Western sanctions. You do not say ! Elitas had to be tipped on his heels.

Really, the US Treasury has a hawk’s eye. Adeyemo should call the Kremlin to inform them that Russian forces are guilty of killing thousands of innocent people in Ukraine.

The mainstream media are forced to embarrass themselves. What are penalties? Do they make sense? Is Erdogan scorning US sanctions for the first time? What is Halkbank (HALKB)? Who is Reza Zarrab? Would it make sense for the US to sanction Turkey for ignoring sanctions against Russia?

Chart drawn by Reza Zarrab during his hearing in court in New York. It shows how oil, gas, silver and gold flowed through the sanctions busting plan that Turkey allegedly arranged with Iran.

The United States, let’s not forget, in April of last year sanctioned certain Turkish officials for purchasing S-400 missiles from Russia. Ismail Demir, head of Erdogan’s defense agency, was among those named.

In June, Demir gave an interview at The Wall Street Journal. He talked about the armed drone trade, Ukraine and that kind of thing. At present, Ukraine’s allies are all in favor of Turkey supplying Kyiv with Erdogan drones. Demir can walk around wearing his American designation like a curious gong.