Putin and Erdogan Agree, Turkey Will Pay for Russian Gas in Rubles
The presidents of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, agreed this Friday (5) to fully comply the Ukrainian and Russian grain export agreementand also that Ankara must pay in rubles for Russian gas supplies, something Western countries are opposed to.
The two sides defend the “full compliance” of the Istanbul agreements for exports of grains and fertilizers “without obstacles”, says the joint communiqué released after negotiations between the two leaders and their delegations.
Putin and Erdogan recognize “the important role of constructive relations between the two countries in signing the initiative on the safe supply of grain from Ukrainian ports”.
At the beginning of their meeting in the seaside resort of Sochi (Black Sea), Putin thanked Erdogan for his role in the signing of the agreement, which he considered “very important” in the context of the world food crisis.
The freighter Razoni, the first to set sail from Ukrainian territory, transported 26,500 tonnes of corn from Odesa to Lebanon last Mondaycrossing the Bosphorus Strait.
According to Turkish authorities, three other ships were due to depart this Friday from the Ukrainian ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pvidenny.
In turn, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that Russian and Turkish leaders had agreed that Ankara would partially pay for gas in Russian currency.
“We are gradually moving towards payment in national currency. Part of the supplies will be paid in rubles. This is really a new step that opens up new possibilities,” he explained.
He recalled that Russia annually supplies 26 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey. Putin commented that “European partners should be grateful to Turkey as it is ensuring the smooth transit of our gas to the European market”.
“TurkStream, unlike all other routes of our hydrocarbon supply, is working correctly, dynamically, without failure (…), it has become one of the main arteries of Russian gas supply to Europe”, he highlighted.
According to the Kremlin, the two leaders also discussed the situation in Syria, for which Hakan Fidan, head of the Turkish intelligence service, also traveled to Sochi.
Erdogan wants to get Putin’s approval for a new Turkish military operation in northern Syria against Kurdish militias, the Syrian People’s Protection Units (YPG), which he has been announcing for weeks.