Turkey has asked Russia to defer payments for gas supplies in order to reduce the economic impact on the republic and reduce pressure on low foreign exchange reserves. With a corresponding request, Turkish officials turned to their Russian counterparts, Bloomberg claims , citing sources close to the negotiations.
We are talking about payments by the state oil and gas company Botas in favor of Gazprom: the Turkish company expects to postpone payments until 2024. Ankara is trying to push through this decision following the already reached agreement on the transfer of 25% of the payment for Russian gas into national currencies instead of dollars. There is no decision from the Russian side yet. Moreover, a source close to the Russian side claims that there has not yet been an official request, and Moscow is ready to discuss the conditions only after it.
The rising cost of energy resources has undermined the stability of the Turkish budget, which is already facing difficulties in the balance of payments due to the too lenient policy of the local central bank. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists that the rate should be kept low, but this policy has led to a record depreciation of the national currency.
In 2022 alone, the Turkish lira fell 28% against the dollar, so any contracts in hard currency are a real problem for Turkey, since the republic's foreign exchange reserves have long been at a minimum. According to the agency, in 2022, only the Argentine peso showed worse dynamics than the Turkish lira.
Recently, the Russian side made similar concessions for a European country, Hungary, which asked for a deferral of payments for supplies. The Hungarian side's argument is about the same: too high gas prices, coupled with currency difficulties in the currency balance. Gazprom satisfied the request of Russia's "only ally" in Europe.