Senator Bob Menendez slammed Turkey on Saturday for welcoming sanctioned Russian oligarchs into the country saying that this is the exact opposite message that the rest of NATO and indeed the world are sending.
“Some partner. Turkey must step up to isolate Putin and his cronies during this terrible crisis,” the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee tweeted.
This is the exact opposite message that the rest of NATO and indeed the world are sending. Some partner. Turkey must step up to isolate Putin and his cronies during this terrible crisis. https://t.co/ZRmNAHDkP8
— Senate Foreign Relations Committee (@SFRCdems) March 27, 2022
Menendez was responding to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu who earlier said that he’d welcome Russian oligarchs as both tourists and investors, as long as any business dealings were kept within the realms of international law.
Speaking to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the Doha Forum, Qatar, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that any activity had to be legal.
“We implement U.N.-approved sanctions, so if any Russian citizens want to visit Turkey, of course, they can visit Turkey. Now Russians are coming to visit Turkey, that’s no problem,” he said.
#Turkey still does not rule out further purchase of long range missiles from #Russia despite invasion of #Ukraine. Its foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says his country has own priorities than @NATO #DohaForum2022 pic.twitter.com/Wsnck9sXX9
— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) March 26, 2022
Russian oligarchs “can do business in Turkey”
When pushed on whether this extended to investment and business, Cavusoglu replied: “So if you mean that these oligarchs can do any business in Turkey, then of course if it is legal and it is not against international law, I will consider,” he said.
“If it is against international law then that’s another story,” he added.
Turkey has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine but it positioned itself as a neutral mediator in talks between Russia and Ukraine.
Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich sends his yachts to Turkey
The country has been in the spotlight this week with its coastal waters seeing the arrival of two multimillion-dollar superyachts, reportedly belonging to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich — quite literally circumnavigating Western sanctions.
The Eclipse, a 533-foot, six-story superyacht — one of the largest in the world — docked in the resort town of Marmaris Tuesday, narrowly skirting nearby Greek islands and the purview of EU sanctions, tracking data showed.
A group of Ukrainians on a small boat tries to block Solaris, a yacht belonging to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, from docking in Bodrum, Turkey, on March 21.
Photo: Irina Demiroglu/Facebook. pic.twitter.com/LyC8fjpdb9
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 21, 2022
Complete with two helipads, two swimming pools, a disco hall and a mini-submarine, it joins the 458-foot Solaris, another luxury yacht linked to the Chelsea FC owner, which arrived at the Turkish tourist resort of Bodrum a day earlier.
They account for two superyachts known to belong to the oligarch, both traveling under Bermuda flags.