Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have agreed to increase economic cooperation.

Turkey has doubled its imports of Russian oil this year as Moscow pivots away from Europe, Reuters reported.
Imports have amounted to around 200,000 barrels a day in 2022, up from 98,000 in the same period in 2021, according to Refinitiv data.
Russian production and exports has remained strong in 2022 as India, China and Turkey have stepped up their purchases.

Turkey has doubled its imports of Russian oil this year, according to Refinitiv data reported by Reuters, making it one of a handful of countries to step into the gap left by European buyers.

Imports have amounted to around 200,000 barrels a day in 2022 so far, up from 98,000 in the same period in 2021, Reuters said Monday.

Turkey is one of a group of countries to have sharply increased their purchases of Russian oil this year, as Western buyers have shunned the country’s crude following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Although Western sanctions have allowed the trade of energy to continue, some companies and countries in the European Union have “self-sanctioned” and avoided touching Russian products, leading to a sharp drop in the bloc’s imports.

Yet Russia’s oil production and exports have remained strong as other buyers have stepped up and increased their purchases. Sanctions mean Russian crude is trading at a discount to international benchmark prices, making it more attractive.

Turkey’s main refineries have stepped up their imports of Russian oil, while cutting back on Middle Eastern and North Sea purchases, Reuters reported.

The increase comes as Turkey — which is not in the European Union and has avoided sanctioning Russia — grows closer to Moscow. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Russian President Vladimir Putin in August and agreed to boost economic cooperation.

India and China, two other countries that have deepened ties to Russia, have also stepped up their oil purchases sharply.

According to the International Energy Agency, Russian oil production has held up in 2022 considerably better than initially expected. IEA data showed that production was virtually unchanged from 2021.

“The rerouting of flows to India, China, Turkey and others, along with seasonally higher Russian domestic demand has mitigated upstream losses,” the IEA said earlier in August.

However, it noted that the EU’s plans to phase out the vast majority of oil imports from Russia by early next year would likely lead to bigger falls in production.

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