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Turkish Bank Ziraat Closes Door on Venezuela Amid U.S. Sanctions

Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Nicolas Maduro at the presidential palace in Caracas on Dec. 3, 2018.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Nicolas Maduro at the presidential palace in Caracas on Dec. 3, 2018.Photographer: Carlos Becerra/Bloomberg

Ziraat Bank, Turkey’s largest bank by assets, has stopped offering services to Venezuela’s Central Bank in wake of tougher U.S. sanctions that raise the stakes for companies that do business with the Caribbean nation.

The Ankara-based state bank confirmed the closing of its account without providing further details. Venezuela’s Central Bank was relying on Ziraat to pay contractors, move money and import products in Turkish liras. A Venezuela Central Bank press official didn’t respond to requests for comment.