Kremlin: Russia-Turkey Projects Not Affected by Ankara’s Economic Problems

Problems in the Turkish economy do not affect its bilateral projects with Russia, the Russian president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said, according to RIA.

“I do not know how this situation [in the Turkish economy] can somehow affect the development of the projects [with Russia]. So far everything is moving along,” he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not ask Vladimir Putin for any assistance in connection with the problems in the Turkish economy in a recent conversation with his Russian counterpart, Peskov emphasized.

Speaking about the content of the telephone conversation between the two leaders, held on August 10, the Kremlin spokesman recalled that key bilateral projects were discussed. In particular, the two leaders touched upon the construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, he said.

“We also have a joint investment fund, we need to make its use more targeted,” Peskov added.

“We have very extensive trade and economic relations, companies are intensively operating on a mutual basis, these are the issues, which are traditionally discussed [by the leaders],” he said.

When asked if Russia will be able to provide assistance to Turkey in case Ankara asks for it, Peskov said he does not find such speculations possible.

On August 10, the U.S. decided to raise duties on the import of aluminum and steel from Turkey to 20% and 50% respectively. This triggered a sharp drop in the rate of the Turkish lira: the currency renewed another historical record and ended the day at 6.41 to the dollar, while at the beginning of last week its value against the dollar was 5.1.

Turkey vowed to retaliate against the U.S. measures.

“Now the U.S. is attempting to carry out by finances what they [the U.S.] couldn’t achieve by way of provocations and coup; this is called ‘economic war.’ We have realized your [the U.S.’s] game, and we will take steps against it,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in response to the measures.