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Turkey agrees to pay for Russian gas in rubles

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) shaking hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, on 5 August 2022.(Photo by AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pledged to boost trade with Moscow, saying Ankara is ready to pay for part of Russian gas in rubles.

Erdogan made the remarks following a four-hour meeting on Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which the two sides agreed to increase cooperation in the transportation, agriculture, finance and construction industries. 

"Despite the current regional and global challenges, the leaders reaffirmed their common will to further develop Russian-Turkish relations," the Kremlin said in a statement following the talks.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, in televised remarks, called the agreements "very important", saying they aim to help the two countries reach "a new level of development" across "virtually all sectors”.

The two leaders also agreed on ruble payment for part of Russian natural gas. This comes after Western countries slapped sweeping sanctions on Moscow over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Earlier in the meeting, Putin praised the TurkStream natural gas pipeline, saying the Europeans should be grateful to Turkey for uninterrupted transportation of Russian gas.

According to the Russian president, the TurkStream pipeline is currently one of the most important gas supply arteries from Russia to Europe, which works properly and without defects.

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