Concession to Putin: Erdogan is undermining the West's most powerful sanctions
Created: 08/11/2022 04:47
By: Lisa Mayerhofer
Putin and Erdogan, the presidents of Russia and Turkey, have agreed on closer economic cooperation.
One of them undermines what is probably the West's most far-reaching sanction.
Ankara – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to keep all doors open: According to the Kremlin, while war is raging in Ukraine, he has agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin on increased cooperation in areas such as the economy and energy.
Meeting between Erdogan and Putin: strengthening cooperation
According to the Kremlin, at their meeting in Sochi on the Black Sea on Friday, the heads of state agreed to expand relations between the two countries "despite the current regional and global challenges".
Accordingly, they agreed on "concrete measures" to strengthen cooperation in the areas of transport, agriculture, industry, finance and tourism.
Before the meeting, Erdogan said it would "open a whole new page in Turkish-Russian relations."
Ukraine War: The Role of Turkey Between Russia and the West
As a NATO member, Turkey has criticized Russia's attack on Ukraine, but has not followed the West's sanctions.
The country also plays a key role in mediating the conflict over grain exports from Ukraine across the Black Sea.
At the beginning of last week, after several months of a Russian naval blockade, the first grain freighter left Ukraine.
In Turkey itself, however, Erdogan is in a big mess: Because of the galloping inflation and skyrocketing prices in Turkey, more and more people are dissatisfied with his work.
Above all, low-income Turks can no longer afford even simple things.
Turkish banks adopt Russian payment system
The country is also dependent on Russian energy imports - and Russian tourists, for whom Turkey is a popular holiday destination.
This is probably why Erdogan agreed to pay Russian oil and gas deliveries in rubles in the future,
In addition, five Turkish banks have taken over the Russian payment system "Mir", reports the American business magazine
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After Western sanctions, Russian banks are excluded from the international payment system SWIFT.
This exclusion is considered the West's most powerful sanctions instrument, as it completely cuts off Russia from global financial transactions.
Now Erdogan is enabling an exchange between Turkish and Russian banks.
For example, Russian tourists can withdraw money from a Turkish ATM or pay there with a credit card, which also makes economic exchange easier.