The collapse of the Turkish lira called a threat to Gazprom

Kommersant: the collapse of the Turkish lira threatens Gazprom with a loss of income from supplies collapsed by 20 percent in a month, may significantly complicate the country’s renegotiation of contracts with Gazprom. Kommersant writes about this with reference to the opinion of analysts.

The situation threatens the ability of private importers to pay for the supplied gas. The experts named direct guarantees of the state and the transition to prepaid supplies as possible ways of solving the problem. Moreover, both of these options mean difficult negotiations, they are also fraught with loss of income.

The current contracts for 8 billion cubic meters per year expire on January 1, 2022. Of these, the state-owned company Botas accounts for half, and the rest is divided between private owners. The head of the Turkish Ministry of Energy Fatih Denmez said that the terms of new contracts will be from three to five years, and the price for all companies should be the same.

The latter circumstance seems to be important in light of the fact that earlier Turkey insisted on discounts for private companies. Botas is engaged in gas transportation and can compensate for the lost income, while private companies suffered losses due to state price regulation.

Despite this policy, Gazprom regularly faced non-payments from Turkish companies. In 2019, importers did not pay about $ 1.7 billion. The Russian exporter is still trying to get this money, but even the victory in international arbitrations did not change the situation.

Since the beginning of the year, the Turkish lira has lost more than 45 percent of its value against the dollar. In such circumstances, it will be much more difficult for local companies to pay under contracts, even if Russian gas remains one of the cheapest on the market.

The collapse of the national currency is due to the economic views of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who insists on cutting the key rate for the growth of the national economy. At the last meeting on November 18, the Central Bank lowered the parameter from 16 to 15 percent, and on November 22, Erdogan promised to continue this course.