ANKARA, May 19. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated that Ankara is unable to abandon natural gas supplies from Russia.
"We receive 50% of our natural gas volumes from Russia. This is a strategic issue for us, and this is a strategic relationship. We cannot cut ties [with Russia]," he stressed at a meeting with Turkish youth in Ankara.
Turkish officials have previously repeatedly stated that it is impossible to give up gas supplies from Russia.
In late March, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu noted that Turkey is unable to reject supplies of Russian gas in the short-term perspective. At the same time, he noted that Ankara is considering options to reduce its energy dependency from other countries.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in Ukraine in response to aid request from Donbass republics. He underscored that Moscow does not plant to occupy Ukrainian territories, instead aiming to demilitarize and denazify the country. In response, the West introduced large-scale sanctions against Russia.
In response to such actions, Putin ordered to switch payment for gas supplies to unfriendly states to Russian rubles. He stated that Moscow will no longer accept payments in compromised currencies, including dollars and euro, and ordered Gazprom management to include necessary changes to the ongoing contracts.