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«I won’t have my people going cold in winter»: Erdogan on Turkey's reluctance to join anti-Russian sanctions

The Turkish government won't join the economic sanctions imposed on Russia because they can't pull through the heating season without its natural gas. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan admitted as much to journalists on his way back from the NATO summit, writes TASS citing Hurriyet.

“When it comes to sanctions, we are considering certain courses of action suggested by the UN, but let's not forget that we can't cast aside our relations with Russia. As I’ve pointed out more than once, if we take natural gas alone, around half of our current consumption relies on the Russian supply. In addition, we are building the Akkuyu nuclear power plant jointly with Russia. We can't disregard either of these facts. Whenever I explain this to [French President Emmanuel] Macron, he replies: ‘You're right.’ So it can’t be helped; we have to handle this matter delicately. Firstly, I won't have my people going cold in winter. Secondly, I can’t overhaul the entire industry,” the agency quotes his statement.

“Our country has a population of 85 million. We are meeting all of our obligations in every area. On top of that, we sent 56 trucks with humanitarian aid to Ukrainians. We’ve been supplying them with food, clothes, and drugs, and the volume of supplies will grow,” said Erdogan.

Ankara had previously declared that Turkey would not join the sanctions against Russia for fear of harming the Turkish economy.

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