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10/20/2023

“Just like that”

“Just like that”

Sergey Glazyev is considered an important politician and economist in Russia. He is one of the brightest minds the country has brought up in recent years.

Glazyev is known for his works on the economic integration of Eurasia and China and the elimination of the global dominance of the US Dollar. I made an interview with him about the Russian-Turkish economic relations under the shadow of Western sanctions.

Before getting to his statements, it is worth taking a brief look at Glazyev’s biography.

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Sergey Glazyev served in the State Duma and took on critical roles in the fields of economics and finance on behalf of the Russian state. He was, for instance, the Minister of Foreign Economic Relations during Yeltsin’s administration. In 1996, he became a member of the Russian Federation’s National Security Council.

In the 2004 presidential elections, he ran as an independent candidate against Vladimir Putin. He received more than 4% of the votes, placing third after Putin and the candidate from the Communist Party. During this time, he accused the politicians who came to power after the collapse of the Soviet Union of failing to provide social justice.

Following the elections, he continued in the Duma and taking posts in economic and financial institutions of the state. Between 2012 and 2019, he was appointed as an advisor to Russian President Putin.

Glazyev was one of the first individuals to face US sanctions in connection with the events in Crimea in 2014. His wiretaps were made public by the CIA.

Being a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Glazyev holds the position of Minister in charge of Integration and Macroeconomics in the Eurasian Economic Commission since 2019.

Ways to overcome Western sanctions between Türkiye and Russia

Is it possible to conduct all trade between Türkiye and Russia in national currencies? Is there an economic infrastructure for that?

Sure. Such operations are already underway. Almost half of Russian exports and a third of imports are paid in rubles. It is enough to pair financial message transmission systems bypassing SWIFT – using the corresponding Russian system, SVFS and the according Turkish one, and to open mutual accounts in banks. It is also desirable for our central banks to conclude an agreement on a currency and credit swap (at least three months’ turnover, preferably an annual one) for the uninterrupted conduct of trade and to ensure the stability of national currencies. Just like that. But it’s a difficult job that could take years.

The United States is putting pressure on Türkiye to hinder its economic relations with Russia. In addition to imposing sanctions on Turkish companies doing business with Russia, the US has also put obstacles to the use of the Mir card in Türkiye. How can Türkiye and Russia overcome these barriers?

By creating specialized banks and companies that, in principle, do not work with the US and other NATO countries, and do not use their currencies. You can do without banks at all, using cryptocurrencies or digital national currencies. And, as in my answer to the first question, central banks must ensure a direct stable payment turnover without using the currencies of third countries (dollars and euros, above of all) – then the so-called “secondary sanctions” will not be imposed, because the Fed and the US Treasury will not have information on payments.

The deepening of energy cooperation between Türkiye and Russia

Given Western sanctions, how realistic is the project to distribute Russian gas around the world through Türkiye?

There is not enough Russian gas for the whole world. Specialization on gas exports was a strategic mistake of the USSR, which the Russian Federation has not corrected. Thus, it was hooked on a gas pipe. Sanctions may have a sobering effect on the Russian leadership, and measures will be taken to expand the gas chemical industry. After all, its products are thousands of times more expensive than the gas spent on their production.

Through Türkiye, it is of course possible to export to the EU until the American or British special services blow up the pipelines at the bottom of the Black Sea, as they did with the Baltic ones. Still, the capacity of the pipes limits the export volume. As for other regions of the world dominated by friendly countries, there are no problems with the export of Russian gas.

The energy sector plays an important role in Türkiye-Russia relations. On the Turkish side, food, construction and textile sectors play an important role in trade with Russia. In what areas can trade between the two countries be expanded in the coming period?

First of all, the development of industrial cooperation is important for the further expansion of Turkish-Russian trade. Without this, trade cannot be significantly increased. Cooperation is hampered by sanctions. It is necessary to expand the formats of relations independent from the US and the EU – in terms of settlement, production, scientific structure, and technic. To do this, we need to create joint ventures, specialized banks, digital payment channels.

The grain corridor in the Black Sea is an issue that often comes to the fore in Turkish–Russian relations. The agreement on this issue has not been extended. Is an extension possible in the near future?

The significance of this corridor is greatly exaggerated. As far as we can judge from statistics, this corridor was used mainly by speculators who resold grain and flour made from it to EU countries. Only an insignificant part of the grain reached Africa. This is another deception, under the cover of which Western companies profited in the war, and weapons were also transported. I don’t think this issue will come to the agenda. It would be a shame.

On Türkiye’s membership in NATO and Russia

How do you see the future of Turkish-Russian relations in the light of Türkiye’s policy of balance?

Unfortunately, the balance has been disrupted by the recent events in Nagorno-Karabakh. Russia is confident that without Türkiye’s support, Baku would not have dared to openly attack Armenia. This has significantly undermined Russia’s trust. There are too many anti-Russian manifestations in the region that were not rebuffed by Türkiye.

And this makes joint investments difficult, without which it is impossible to expand production, cooperation and a steady increase in trade. Russia does not need an escalation of the already tense situation in the Middle East and the Caucasus.

It should be understood that the global hybrid war deployed by the United States and its satellites will ultimately lead to a catastrophe for Europe and the United States itself. The winner is China, which confidently displaces European goods from the Russian market and has already become the leader of the world economy. This is a natural result of the change of world economic patterns, which the American aggression in Ukraine only accelerates.

If Türkiye does not escape from the clutches of NATO, its development opportunities, including cooperation with Russia, will deteriorate. The West is rapidly sliding to the periphery of the world economy, whose center is moving towards Southeast Asia. And this results from the efficiency of the economic development management systems at the heart of the global economic structure.

The global hybrid war unleashed by the United States accelerates this process. There can be no balance in it – it is a non-equilibrium transition. As shown in my books, the new world economic order restores national sovereignty and international law is based on equality and mutually beneficial cooperation. On this basis, we are building the interface of the EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union) and the “One Belt, One Road”. And Türkiye could join this process.

Can an economic union led by Russia and Türkiye be created between the countries of the region?

As long as Türkiye obeys NATO instructions and focuses on joining the EU, which are waging a war against Russia, this is not realistic. Türkiye could establish preferential relations with the EAEU if it were not in a Customs Union with the EU. Türkiye has huge opportunities for economic development in cooperation with Russia and the EAEU. But for their full implementation, it is necessary to restore national sovereignty, which is impossible within the framework of NATO.

Onur Sinan Güzaltan
Onur Sinan Güzaltan was born in Istanbul in 1985. He had his Bachelors's degree in Law, from the Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne Universty /Paris XII and a Master's degree in International and European Law. He got his certificate of diploma equivalence at Galatasaray University. Later, he got a Master's degree in International Trade Law, at the Institut de Droit des Affaires Internationales, founded jointly by the Sorbonne Universty and the Cairo Universty. In this process, he had served as the Cairo representative for the Aydinlik Newspaper. He has several articles and television streams within the international press, in such as People's Daily, Al Yaum, Al Ahram, Russia Today FranceAl Youm Al Sabea. In addition to being the author of the Tanrı Bizi İster Mi?, a work that studies the 2011-2013 political period in Egypt, he had also contributed to the multi-author study titled Ortadoğu Çıkmazında Türkiye, with an article that focused on the Turkish-Egyptian relations. While currently working as a lawyer, he also writes a weekly column for Aydinlik Newspaper on the subject of international politics and geopolitics.

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