Russia keen on trading with Turkey in national currencies: Kremlin spokesman

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Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov (Sefa Karacan / Anadolu Agency)

Russia hopes to use national currencies in trade with Turkey, but the issue needs to be carefully worked out, Russian news agency Sputnik reported on Monday, citing Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

“The issue of using national currencies in bilateral trade is a topic that has been raised by the Russian side for a long time and consistently at various levels, including at the top level. President [Vladimir] Putin has repeatedly spoken about this possibility and moreover, about its practicability,” Peskov told reporters when answering a question whether the switch to the national currency in trade with Turkey was beneficial for Russia.

“Of course, this is subject to scrupulous work, scrupulous calculations, but this is what we are striving for in our bilateral trade and economic relations, and what has been repeatedly mentioned at bilateral Russian-Turkish talks.”

On Saturday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara was preparing to switch to national currency use with its largest trading partners, such as China, Russia and Iran, and was also ready for such a move in trade with the European Union.

The spokesman said the financial and economic situation in Turkey was not yet affecting implementation of joint projects with Russia.

“I don’t know that this situation will somehow affect the development of projects. Everything is proceeding as usual,” Peskov told reporters.

He said speculation about Russia’s possible financial assistance to Turkey were inappropriate.

Turkey’s national currency has lost almost 20 percent of its value since Friday, when US President Donald Trump authorized 20 and 50 percent tariffs on imported Turkish aluminum and steel, respectively.

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