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HomeNewsRussia may reduce fuel exports in response to price cap: Turkish envoy

Russia may reduce fuel exports in response to price cap: Turkish envoy


Russia may curb supplies of fuel exports in response to the price cap imposed by the G7 and its allies, said Turkish Ambassador to India Firat Sunel in an interview. Turkey, like India, is waiting for details of how the price cap will be implemented. Sunel also indicated that there were no barriers to establishing a rupee trade between India and Turkey, a development he believes will boost bilateral trade. Discussions between both sides on the matter are ongoing.

Sunel confirmed talks to improve ties between India and Turkey after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s interventions on the Kashmir issue derailed bilateral relations. Edited excerpts:

What is Turkey’s opinion on the price cap on Russian oil?

Proponents of the price cap mechanism for Russian oil say that the proposal aims to limit revenues of Russian oil exports, keep global oil prices at certain levels as well as maintain the flow of Russian oil in the market. However, we do not have the details of how this mechanism will be or if it can be implemented. There is a certain risk that Russia may further cut oil and fuel exports. When there is more information, everyone will be in a better position to assess the situation.

Is Turkey interested in rupee trade with India?

The two sides have already been exchanging opinions regarding using local currencies in their bilateral trade. In fact, there are no barriers in front of achieving this. The Turkish Central Bank actively works on establishing the infrastructure of trading in local currencies, and to this end, it signs swap agreements with other countries. I think that such a swap agreement between Türkiye and India can give momentum to the development of trade between the two countries.

After some years of tension between India and Turkey, are we seeing the beginnings of a reset in ties?

Turkey considers India a friendly country and, in terms of the latter’s location, human resources, vibrant economy and increasingly critical role in the international arena, as a significant partner. India is our largest trade partner in South Asia. Turkey and India should mutually benefit from the great potential they have. In international relations, one cannot expect partner-states to always share the same views on every issue. But good relations between states should not be a prisoner of their differences on some specific issues. We don’t need to reset our ties. We have deep-rooted historical and cultural ties dating back many centuries. We don’t need to reset anything. Throughout history, our countries and peoples interacted with each other. Both countries are G-20 members and share fundamental common values such as democracy, the rule of law, and liberal economies. Fortunately, we have many common grounds and interests for cooperation. I am glad both countries are ready to work towards this end. For example, our President called Putin to ask him to refrain from the annexation of certain regions of Ukraine and warned about the escalation risks that such a decision would entail.

Since the outset of the war, we have been engaging both sides diplomatically to bring an end to the hostilities. However, due to the atrocities on the ground, the negotiations have stopped.

We are also supporting international efforts to mitigate the negative effects of the war. Together with the UN, we brokered the İstanbul agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, and managed its successful extension. The grain deal proved the value of our nuanced position. We will continue to maintain our balanced policy for our own interest and for the interest of the international community.

Like India, Turkey has also faced criticism for energy imports from Russia. President Erdogan has also met President Putin frequently in recent months. What is your response to such criticism?

Türkiye’s oil imports depend on market conditions and technical requirements and are done by the private sector. Russia has been a major oil supplier for Türkiye for many years. By the same token, there has not been a sharp increase in Türkiye’s oil imports from Russia. We think this is now better understood by everyone.

What is Turkey’s opinion on the price cap on Russian oil that Western nations are currently pursuing?

Proponents of the price cap mechanism for Russian oil say that the proposal aims to limit revenues of Russian oil exports, keep global oil prices at certain levels as well as maintain the flow of Russian oil in the market. However, we do not have the details of how this mechanism will be or if it can be implemented. There is a certain risk that Russia may further cut oil and fuel exports. When there is more information, everyone will be in a better position to assess the situation.

Is Turkey interested in rupee trade with India? When could we see that taking off?

The two sides have already been exchanging opinions regarding using local currencies in their bilateral trade. In fact, there are no barriers in front of achieving this. The Turkish Central Bank actively works on establishing the infrastructure of trading in local currencies, and to this end, it signs swap agreements with other countries. I think that such a swap agreement between Türkiye and India can give momentum to the development of trade between the two countries.

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