Increasingly alarmed by Recep Tayyip Erdoan’s cozy relationship with Vladimir Putin, western capitals are considering punitive retaliation against the Nato member if it assists Russia in avoiding sanctions.
According to the Financial Times, six western officials expressed concern about the Turkish and Russian leaders’ pledge to expand trade and energy cooperation following their four-hour meeting in Sochi.
One EU official said the 27-member bloc was monitoring Turkish-Russian relations “more and more closely”. A senior western official suggested countries could call on their companies and banks to withdraw from Turkey if Erdoğan follows through with the intentions he outlined on Friday — a highly unusual threat against a fellow NATO member whose economy is already fragile at $800 billion.
According to three European officials, the EU has not yet discussed possible repercussions for Turkey. Many others cautioned that it was unclear what Erdoan and Putin had agreed to and that a formal EU decision on sanctions against Turkey would be challenging given disagreements within the union.
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