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Turkey unable to abandon Russian gas shortly, says foreign minister

Turkey is unable to abandon Russian gas supplies in the short-term, the republic's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with the Haber Turk TV channel on Thursday.

"No, it is not possible in the short-term," he said when asked whether the country would be able to find an alternative to the Russian gas shortly, for example, from Iraq, Azerbaijan or Israel.

That said, Ankara is considering the possibility of reducing its energy dependency on other countries, the minister noted. "Turkey will reach an important stage in this issue when natural gas from the Sakarya field [in the Black Sea] is supplied to the domestic market in 2023," he explained.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine, stressing that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories. Western countries responded to the actions of the Russian authorities by slapping sanctions against physical and legal entities.

In response to such actions Putin requested moving payments for gas supplies to unfriendly countries to rubles, saying that Moscow would refuse accepting payments on contracts in discredited currencies, including dollars and euros. He also tasked the government with giving Gazprom an instruction on amending present contracts.

[Source: Tass, Ankara, 31Mar22]

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