Turkey has begun to pay partially in rubles for the Russian gas it receives, Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez told a local broadcaster on Tuesday.
Over the coming months, Turkey will increase the share of ruble payments for Russian gas, the minister told the TRT Haber television channel.
Shortly after the invasion of Ukraine, Russia demanded that the so-called “unfriendly” countries – a designation of Moscow for most of the Western countries – pay for their Russian gas supply in rubles. Several EU countries have refused and saw their gas supply from Russia cut off.
Turkey is not on the “unfriendly” country list, but both Turkey and Russia have tried to boost bilateral trade in local currencies for years.
Turkey may also host a conference of natural gas suppliers and importers as part of its efforts to set up – with Russia – a natural gas hub locally, Donmez told TRT Haber.
“We could organise an international gas conference, perhaps in January or February, to bring together gas suppliers and importer countries to take their opinion, we will proceed according to that,” Reuters quoted the Turkish minister as saying.
The presidents of Turkey and Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, respectively, have agreed to set up a natural gas hub in Turkey, the Turkish president said last month.
“And in his own words, Putin announced to the world that ‘Europe can get its natural gas from Türkiye’,” Erdogan was quoted as saying.
A week earlier, Putin first suggested that Russia redirect natural gas supplies intended for the damaged Nord Stream pipelines to the Black Sea and the creation of a European gas hub in Turkey.
Since Putin first suggested the creation of the natural gas hub in Turkey, the two countries have not wasted time and instructed in October their respective energy regulators to immediately begin technical work to make the Russian proposal a reality.