As a reminder:
BULLETIN – SEPTEMBER 23, 2011
SYRIA’S ‘VERY, VERY UGLY’ RELATIONS WITH TURKEY
Following his September 21 meeting with President Obama, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the press that Turkey and the U.S. would work together to decide on what sanctions Turkey should impose against Syria. Erdogan described his relationship with Obama as his “pride and joy” and Turkey’s relationship with Syria as “very, very ugly.”
New Turkish sanctions would add incremental economic pressure on Syria at a time when Syrian petroleum exports and imports have come to a virtual standstill. In the past few weeks, Syria’s government-run oil trading firm, Sytrol, has had no takers for cargoes of crude oil, naphtha, and vacuum gas oil that it has tendered for sale. Neither has it found anyone willing to sell it the diesel it needs. The few traders willing to look into deals with Sytrol say they can’t find a vessel willing to go to Syrian ports or a bank to handle the payments.
The EU sanctions on the import of Syrian crude exempt contracts signed before September 2 and permit imports into the EU until November 15. Earlier this week, Sytrol posted its official selling price for its heavy crude for October delivery unchanged from September levels, suggesting it hasn’t secured government approval to offer steep discounts.
Two weeks ago, Chinese trading company Unipec was reportedly interested in buying Syrian vacuum gas oil, although it has not seriously pursued any new purchases yet.