Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the energy crisis in Europe is the result of European sanctions against Russia. Those economic sanctions came in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “Europe is reaping what it has sown,” Erdogan says. “I think Europe will have serious problems this winter.”
Erdogan made his statements, according to AFP news agency, on Tuesday during a press conference in the Turkish capital Ankara. “Europe is reaping what it has sown,” it sounded. “Europe’s attitude toward Mr. Putin and the sanctions have led him, whether we like it or not, to say, ‘If you do this, I will do that.'”
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“Putin is using all the means and weapons at his disposal, first and foremost natural gas. We don’t want that, but I think Europe will face serious problems this winter,” he added, saying Turkey “will not face such problems.”
In doing so, Erdogan is following Russia’s discourse on the energy crisis. The Kremlin on Monday let it be known through spokesman Dmitry Peskov that Russia will not resume gas deliveries to Europe until sanctions are lifted.
The EU has stopped buying coal from Russia and is gradually introducing a ban on Russian oil. For natural gas imports, there are no restrictions yet. This is where the country bloc is heavily dependent on Russia. But with Russia turning off the tap itself, the price of gas has exploded. This is causing problems for companies and families, who can no longer pay their high energy bills.
Friend of Russia and Ukraine
For its part, Turkey maintains good relations with both Moscow and Kiev. It refused to join Western economic sanctions against Russia. Erdogan announced in early August an agreement on a partial payment in rubles for deliveries of Russian gas to Turkey. By 2021, Russia accounted for about a quarter of Turkey’s oil imports and 45% of its natural gas purchases.