Türkiye’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez on Monday said an agreement has been reached on the payment of Russian gas in rubles.
“If someone from the buyer or seller side does not have dollars or euros, there will inevitably be a foreign exchange cost. We will get rid of this difference,” he told reporters.
Pointing out that the exchange rate difference problem is not a new situation, Dönmez said, "Today it has been talked about a lot, but our president had the idea and strategy that for three or four years, we would trade with many countries in domestic currencies, we would earn more.”
“I hope we will have started that as well,” the minister said, noting that central banks need to be active in this.
“Because those who buy or sell the goods naturally go to the bank. The money is transferred according to the agreements of the central banks. What the exchange rate will be, how it will be transferred, central banks determine them,” he explained.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also said last week that a quarter of Russian gas supplies to Türkiye will be paid for in rubles, stressing that an agreement on this would soon come into force.
Putin made the comments during a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan.
“Our agreement on deliveries of Russian natural gas to Türkiye should come into effect in the near future, with 25% of the payment for these deliveries in Russian rubles,” Putin said.
Since Western countries imposed sweeping sanctions over its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Russia has sought to conduct as many transactions as possible in currencies other than dollars or euros – the usual default currencies for energy contracts, in particular.
It has also demanded that payments for some gas exports be made in rubles, in some cases in contravention of existing contract terms. Several European Union member states, including Poland and Bulgaria, have had gas supplies from Russia cut off after refusing to make the ruble payments.
Putin also dubbed Türkiye a “reliable route” for gas deliveries from Russia.
Türkiye has criticized Moscow’s invasion and provided Ukraine with arms, including drones, which played a significant role in deterring a Russian advance early in the conflict, while refusing to join the West in imposing sanctions on Russia – a stance that has helped its mediation efforts reap results.