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Erdogan: Turkey will start paying for Russian gas in rubles

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After the Sochi talks, an agreement was reached on payment for Russian gas.

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands before their meeting at the Rus Sanatorium in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, Russia, Friday, Aug. 5, 2022 (Turkish Presidency via AP )
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands before their meeting at the Rus Sanatorium in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, Russia, Friday, Aug. 5, 2022 (Turkish Presidency via AP )

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed that Ankara will start paying for Russian gas in rubles.

Moscow previously made the announcement on Friday evening after more than 4 hours of talks between Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia.

Washington pushed countries to impose economic sanctions on Russia in response to February 24. However, Turkey, which is a member of NATO, tried to remain neutral in the war due to its heavy reliance on Russian energy.

Read more: Turkey: Joining sanctions against Russia is unrealistic

About 25% of Turkey’s oil imports come from Russia, and 45% of its natural gas also comes from Russia as of last year.

“As Turkey, our door is open to everyone,” Erdogan said on Saturday as he returned from Sochi. “A good thing about this visit to Sochi is that we agreed on the ruble with Mr. Putin,” Erdogan said.

“Since we will do this trade in rubles, it will of course bring money to Turkey and Russia.”

Neither party has disclosed how much Russian gas will be paid for in rubles.

Turkey’s payment for Russian gas in rubles, avoiding the dollar, will protect the Turkish economy from dwindling hard currency reserves.

Last year, the Turkish government spent tens of billions of dollars trying to prop up the lira as it fell sharply in the latest economic crisis. The lira has so far lost 55% of its value against the dollar, while consumer prices have soared 80% over the past year.

The United States and the European Union are trying to pressure Russian customers to switch to ruble payments to limit Moscow’s capabilities in the war in Ukraine.

Read next: Turkey-Russia trade doubles in April: Turkish Foreign Minister

Turkey and Russia sign roadmap for economic cooperation

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey and Russia had signed a roadmap for economic cooperation, aiming to raise trade turnover between the countries to $100 billion.

“During our bilateral meeting, we exchanged views on further developing our trade and economic cooperation. We have previously stated that our trade target is $100 billion,” Erdogan said, adding that “in this direction, we want to expand our cooperation in areas such as energy, trade, tourism and agriculture. We are determined to achieve a more balanced bilateral trade volume.”

“A memorandum of understanding, a kind of roadmap for our trade and economic relations was signed in Sochi by our Minister of Trade [Mehmet Mus]and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak,” Erdogan told reporters upon his return from Sochi.

Erdogan added that he had also discussed with Putin the use of the Russian Mir payment card in Turkey, and that there was serious progress on the matter.

During his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Putin said: “Just remember that our trade turnover increased by 57% last year, and it doubled in the first months of this year, up to and including May. . We have large-scale projects.

Putin has a ‘fair approach’ towards Turkey on the Syrian issue

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Russian President Vladimir Putin adheres to Turkey’s “fair approach” on the Syrian issue and supports Ankara in the fight against terrorism.

“Mr. Putin has a fair approach to Turkey on this [Syrian] publish. He specifically states that he will always be with us in the fight against terrorism,” Erdogan said on his return from Sochi, Russia, where he met the Russian president. “We say that our intelligence organization is already dealing with these issues with Syria. intelligence, but our efforts are aimed at obtaining a result.”

Ahead of a Friday meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Kremlin urged Ankara not to “destabilize” Syria with a military offensive.

“Turkey has legitimate concerns for security reasons, which of course we take into account,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“It is very important not to allow any action which could lead to destabilization of the situation in Syria, or which could jeopardize the territorial and political integrity of Syria,” he added.

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