Ankara seeks to delay gas payments to Russia

Ankara seeks to delay gas payments to Russia
Update: 04 October 2022 02:53
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Suffering from a currency crisis and widening budget deficit, Turkey wants to postpone some of its gas payments to Russia to 2024.

Turkish officials have asked Russia to delay a part of Ankara’s payments due for natural gas in an attempt to alleviate the negative impact of higher energy prices, Bloomberg said on Monday.

Turkey’s state-run energy importer Botas is seeking to postpone some of the payments to 2024, a source told Bloomberg.

The talks follow a deal between the two countries that permits Botas to pay 25% of its obligations in rubles rather than dollars.

Turkey hasn’t made a formal request to the company, and it remains unclear whether the talks will result in any agreement, Bloomberg added.

While Turkish currency has depreciated more than 28% against the dollar in 2022, and the trade deficit more than doubled in August compared to the same month a year earlier, Turkey’s dependency on imported energy has added to pressure on its currency and budget.

Energy imports cost Turkey annually $40 billion, and it relies on Russia for 45% of its natural gas demand, 17% of oil and 40% of its gasoline.

Ankara remains a key partner for Moscow as it has refused to join in international sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.