ANKARA, Might 10 (Reuters) – Turkey has deferred cost to Russia of a $600 million pure gasoline invoice to 2024, two sources mentioned on Wednesday, the primary such postponement beneath a deal introduced final week that underlines deepening ties between Ankara and Moscow.
Beneath the phrases of the settlement, as much as $4 billion in Turkish vitality funds to Russia could also be postponed till subsequent yr, each sources informed Reuters beneath situation of anonymity.
Particulars of the deal haven’t beforehand been disclosed.
Turkey, which is getting ready for elections on Sunday, relies upon closely on vitality imports and Russia is its largest provider.
The gasoline funds deal relieves some strain on Turkey’s overseas reserves, which have been depleted by unorthodox financial insurance policies meant to help the lira, in addition to rising vitality costs after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine final yr.
“Formally a cost value $600 million has been postponed to subsequent yr. The rise in vitality costs had a big impact on this,” one of many sources with data of the matter mentioned.
The supply mentioned Turkey might push again additional such funds within the coming months relying on the course of vitality costs.
The Russian and Turkish vitality ministries, and their respective vitality corporations Gazprom and Botas, haven’t responded to requests for touch upon the problem.
Turkish Vitality Minister Fatih Donmez mentioned final week that Turkey and Moscow agreed a deal permitting Ankara to defer vitality funds as much as a certain quantity, however didn’t give particulars.
Turkey’s vitality import invoice hit a document close to $100 billion in 2022 and within the yr to February it imported 39% of its whole 53.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of pure gasoline from Russia.
The deal underlines ties between Russia and Turkey, with the closeness between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan permitting them to carry frequent talks on points starting from vitality to the wars in Ukraine and Syria.
Turkey has sought to strike a stability within the warfare between Russia and Ukraine, opposing the Western sanctions on Moscow, whereas offering arms to Kyiv. Ankara additionally helped dealer a deal that allowed the resumption of Ukrainian grains.
Ankara and Moscow have additionally cooperated over different regional conflicts, primarily because of the rapport between their leaders, serving to them attain options in Libya, Syria and between Armenia and Azerbaijan, regardless of principally backing opposing sides.
Extra lately, Russia’s state nuclear vitality firm Rosatom constructed $20 billion, 4,800 megawatt (MW) Akkuyu nuclear energy plant. Erdogan beforehand advised additional cooperation with Russia within the defence and vitality sectors.
The rising relations have additionally raised concern from the West that Turkey was straying from its NATO ties. Ankara says it stays true to NATO however must stability its relations.
Polls present Turkey’s Erdogan might lose the election largely as a result of a cost-of-living disaster and the sharp depreciation of the lira, largely introduced on by his authorities’s programme of slashing rates of interest regardless of excessive inflation.
Extra reporting Can Sezer in Istanbul; Enhancing by Jonathan Spicer and Alexander Smith
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