Turkish exports to Russia in August doubled compared to the same month last year and increased by 27% compared to July, reaching $0.95 billion, a new record against the background of Western anti-Russian sanctions

Turkey shipped $949 million worth of goods to Russia in August, which is 2.1 times more than in August last year ($451 million) and 27% more than the previous month ($729 million). These data were released today by the official Turkish Institute of Statistics.

Turkish exports to Russia have increased sharply since the beginning of the summer: in June, exports reached $790 million, which was a monthly record since at least 2010, RBC reported.

Experts attributed this growth to the Western sanctions against Russia, which forced it to look for alternative suppliers instead of the countries recognized as unfriendly. Last March, Turkish exports to Russia fell to a local minimum ($273 million), but quickly recovered and exceeded last year’s levels.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo visited Turkey in June and expressed concern that major Russian businessmen might use Turkish structures to counter Western sanctions. He then sent a letter to Turkish business associations warning that any local companies that provide substantial support to sub-sanctioned Russian businesses could themselves be put on the U.S. sanctions list.

Russia has moved into fifth place among Turkey’s largest export destinations, overtaking Italy. According to the Turkish Institute of Statistics, Turkey supplies more goods in monetary terms only to Germany, the U.S., Iraq and the UK. And the latter is already close – $1.1 billion in August. Last year Russia ranked only 12th on the list.

As noted by Reuters, Ankara, a NATO member, seeks to balance between Moscow and Kiev, on the one hand, criticizing the Russian military operation and supplying weapons to Ukraine (in particular, drones and armored vehicles), and on the other hand, continuing cooperation with Russia in the areas of trade, investment and tourism. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly offered to mediate in resolving the conflict. During his last conversation on September 29, he urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to give peace talks a chance.

Russia’s merchandise imports to Turkey in August reached $6.3 billion, which is 2.4 times more than a year ago ($2.7 billion). As compared to July’s figure of $4.37 billion, Russian exports to Turkey, mainly hydrocarbons and coal, have also considerably increased.