Turkey tells U.S. its trade with Venezuela complies with international law
Reacting to scrutiny of Turkey’s trade with Venezuela, Ankara said on Friday their practices are in compliance with international laws and regulations, Reuters reported.
The United States is ready to take action against Turkey if its trade with Venezuela violates sanctions, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.
According to Bloomberg's Turkey chief, Turkish officials also told the U.S. side they should avoid using news media as a means of communication.
“We are looking at the nature of Turkish-Venezuelan commercial activity, and if we assess a violation of our sanctions, we will obviously take action,” the senior U.S. official Marshall Billingslea told Reuters before arriving Turkey.
“We are looking at the nature of Turkish-Venezuelan commercial activity, and if we assess a violation of our sanctions, we will obviously take action,” the official added.
Turkey imported $900 million of gold from Venezuela last year, and U.S. officials say some of that gold may have been transmitted to Iran, which would constitute a violation of sanctions on the country, Bloomberg reported.
A loud critic of embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio tweeted that Maduro is personally “raiding the gold reserves” of his country.
“I hope the UAE & Turkey will not be accomplices in this outrageous crime,” Rubio tweeted on Friday. “Any companies that are involved will face U.S. sanctions.”
Senator Rubio, second day in a row tweeted about Turkey and Venezuela relations once again on Saturday and asked the U.S. Embassy in Ankara to "recommend that Turkey stop helping Maduro steal the gold reserves of Venezuela."