Turkey will transfer part of its payments for Russian gas into rubles and plans to deepen its ties with Russia by expanding the use of Russia’s Mir payment system, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.
Erdogan made the remarks the day after meeting Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Sochi.
Moscow originally made the announcement on Friday evening after the two leaders held their four-hour conference in the North Caucasus. Neither side detailed the percentage of payments that would be made in roubles.
The move puts Erdogan at odds with the United States, which led the international push to sanction Russia after the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Ruble payments help Russia avoid dollar payments and restrictions imposed on such payments due to sanctions.
What did Erdogan say about the Turkish bank?
Following that visit on Friday, Erdogan told reporters on his flight home that there is a new “roadmap” to strengthen bilateral relations that will serve as a “source of power between Turkey and Russia in financial terms.” .
Turkey said five banks were working to expand use of the Mir payment system, making it easier for Russian tourists to Turkey, one of the few countries in Europe still offering flights to and from Turkey. Russia.
The European Union, of which Turkey is not a member although it flirted with the possibility in the early years of Erdogan’s rule, closed its airspace to Russian planes and revoked carriers’ landing rights Russians.
Russian fleets are also sanctioned in such a way that new parts for old planes, as well as maintenance, are difficult to obtain.
In addition to these sanctions, major Russian banks have been barred from the SWIFT cross-border banking communication network, making money transfer an extremely difficult task for Russians in most banks around the world.
Russians accounted for the second highest number of tourists to Turkey in the first half of 2022, with German tourists the only ones to outnumber them.
Does Turkey depend on Russian gas?
Turkey is a NATO member state, and its decision to boost trade with Russia underscores Russia’s dependence for energy, as well as other areas of the economy.
Russia supplies around a quarter of Turkey’s oil imports and accounts for nearly half of its natural gas purchases in 2021.
Russia is also building the country’s first nuclear power plant in a joint venture with Ankara.
ar/fb (AFP, dpa)