Ankara seeks to delay gas payments to Russia
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.