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Sunday October 02, 2022

Turkey to pay for some Russian gas in rubles: Erdogan

By AFP
August 07, 2022

ISTANBUL: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has confirmed that Turkey will start paying for some of its Russian natural gas imports in rubles.

The announcement was initially made by Moscow late on Friday after more than four hours of talks between Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi.

The United States is leading international efforts to impose economic sanctions on Russia in response to its February invasion of Ukraine.

But Nato member Turkey has tried to remain neutral in the conflict because of its heavy dependence on Russian energy. Russia accounted for about a quarter of Turkey’s oil imports and 45 percent of its natural gas purchases last year.

"As Turkey, our door is open to everyone," Erdogan was quoted on Saturday as telling Turkish reporters on his flight home from Sochi.

"One good thing about this Sochi visit is that we agreed on the ruble with Mr. Putin," Erdogan said.

"Since we will conduct this trade in rubles, it will of course bring money to Turkey and Russia." Neither Erdogan nor Russian officials have said what portion of the gas will be covered by ruble payments. Avoiding paying for the gas in dollars helps Turkey protect its dwindling hard currency reserves.

The Turkish government is reported to have spent tens of billions of dollars in the past year trying to prop up the lira against steep declines during its latest economic crisis.

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