On Saturday, 6th August 2022, a Memorandum of Understanding for a roadmap for trade and economic relations was signed between Russia and Turkey.
The MoU was signed in Sochi Russia, by the Trade Minister of Turkey and the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander Novak.
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This was disclosed by the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara upon his return from Sochi, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Both countries also agreed to introduce the Russian ruble as a currency for bilateral trade, Erdogan said.
“We agreed on the ruble as a [monetary] unit in trade. Since we will conduct our trade in rubles, this will of course be a serious source of income for both Turkey and Russia. In addition, there is the ‘Mir’ card [Russian analogue of Visa]. Five of our banks currently accept it. There is very serious progress in this issue, which will ultimately improve conditions for tourists coming from Russia. They will be able to do shopping and pay for hotels,” Erdogan said.
President Erdogan also hinted without much details that while he was in Russia, the representatives of the Russian and Turkish central banks held talks on further enhancing mutual cooperation.
Speaking on the roadmap for economic cooperation, Erdogan said Turkey and Russia are contemplating the possibility of bringing bilateral trade between the two countries to $100 billion a year.
“During our bilateral meeting, we exchanged views on the further development of our trade and economic cooperation… Our goal in trade is $100 billion dollars. In this regard, we want to develop our cooperation in areas such as energy, trade, tourism and agriculture. We are determined to ensure a more balanced volume of bilateral trade.
On Friday, 5th August, Putin and Erdogan spent over four hours discussing on a broad range of issues, from Ukrainian grain exports and trade cooperation to Russian gas exports.
They agreed to “meet halfway” when it comes to the two countries’ needs in trade and energy, according to the joint statement. Following the talks, the Russian president praised the fact that trade volumes between Russia and Turkey are steadily growing, having soared by nearly 60% last year and doubling in the first five months of 2022.
In July, Russia and Ukraine signed a deal to allow for the safe export of grains and other food products from Ukraine. The deal was brokered by Turkey.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur
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