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Türkiye closes terminal for Russian oil due to US sanctions

Türkiye closes terminal for Russian oil due to US sanctions Photo: Türkiye has closed a terminal for oil from Russia (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Dortyol, an oil terminal on Türkiye's Mediterranean coast, will no longer accept Russian imports amid increasing US sanctions pressure, according to Reuters.

Global Terminal Services (GTS), which operates a terminal inTürkiye 's southeastern Hatay province, says it has informed its customers that it would not accept any goods from Russia.

"GTS decided to cut all possible connections to Russian oil and declared accordingly to its customers in late February 2024 that even if there is no breach of any laws, regulations or sanctions, it would not accept any product of Russian origin or any products loaded from Russian ports as an additional measure to the sanction rules in effect," GTS says.

The statement says that all previous transactions were fully compliant with the sanctions, including the G7 price cap.

"GTS's new approach is an additional measure to eliminate the effects of activities that are beyond its reach and control despite the efforts to comply with all applicable sanctions," GTS adds.

US sanctions

The US threat to impose sanctions on financial firms doing business with Russia has already chilled Turkish-Russian trade by disrupting or slowing down some payments for both imported oil and Turkish exports.

The GTS terminal, which imports, exports, and stores fuel and crude oil, received 11.74 million barrels of Russian crude oil and fuel last year, according to data from shipping analytics company Kpler.

It became Türkiye's seventh-largest import terminal by volume, rising from 10th place in 2021. Its oil and fuel imports from Russia in 2023 were about seven times the total volume received from all sources in 2021, the last full year before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Exports from the terminal also jumped in 2023, increasing almost fivefold compared to 2021 and amounting to approximately 24.7 million barrels.

The last tanker to unload at Dortyol arrived on February 19, delivering 511,000 barrels of diesel fuel from the Russian Baltic port of Primorsk.

The usual destinations for oil exported from Dortyol were the Greek ports of Corinth, Elefsis, and Thessaloniki, as well as the Northwest European oil trading, refining, and storage centers of Rotterdam and Antwerp.

Ankara opposes Western sanctions against Moscow, despite criticizing Russia's invasion of Ukraine two years ago. Throughout the conflict, it has managed to maintain close ties with both Moscow and Kyiv.

Türkiye has become one of the largest importers of Russian oil and fuel since 2022 after the West imposed sanctions on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.