Conducting trade in national currencies was among the topics discussed during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, according to recently revealed details.
In a phone call on Sunday, Erdoğan told Putin that Turkey is ready to contribute to the solution of the Ukraine crisis through peaceful means as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, according to the information obtained from ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) sources, the issue of trade payments between the two countries was also discussed.
Sources say Erdoğan told Putin that, apart from the euro and dollar, trade between the two countries can be carried out using the Russian ruble and Chinese yuan.
“We can do it with gold,” he was quoted as suggesting.
Moscow is likely to seek alternatives as Western sanctions have removed several Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments network. Russia could in theory try to replace SWIFT's communications system that keeps international trade flowing smoothly.
During the conversation, Erdoğan brought up the issue of the 30 ships loaded with sunflower oil raw material and wheat en route to Turkey currently waiting in the Sea of Azov, the sources said.
Meanwhile, after Sunday's phone call between Erdoğan and Putin, the Directorate of Communications said in a statement that “Russia's attack on Ukraine was discussed, Turkey-Russia relations were evaluated.”
Stressing that an urgent general cease-fire would not only alleviate humanitarian concerns in the region but also provide an opportunity to seek a political solution, Erdoğan reiterated his call to "pave the way for peace together."
Maintaining its neutral and balanced stance, Turkey continues its diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the Ukraine conflict, urging all sides to exercise restraint. While Ankara has opposed international sanctions designed to isolate Moscow, it also closed the Bosporus and Dardanelles under a 1936 pact, allowing it to prevent some Russian vessels from crossing the Turkish Straits.
NATO ally Turkey borders Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea and has good ties with both. Since the beginning of the conflict, Ankara has offered to mediate between the two sides and host peace talks, underlining its support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Having recently called Russia’s invasion an unacceptable violation of international law, Turkey has carefully formulated its rhetoric not to offend Moscow, with which it has close energy, defense and tourism ties.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu recently said on Monday that the Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers will meet in Antalya on Thursday as part of Turkey's mediation efforts to find a solution in the face of Moscow's invasion.