The hotly-anticipated trilateral meeting between the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey was held in Antalya yesterday. Following two weeks of war, the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine held their first face-to-face talks. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba organized separate press conferences. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba said no progress was achieved for a cease-fire and negotiations would continue. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow wanted to continue negotiations with Kyiv, and Russian President Vladimir Putin would not refuse a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss ‘specific’ issues.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke over the phone with U.S. President Joe Biden, according to a statement from the White House. The presidents discussed their shared concern about Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. They reaffirmed their strong support for the government and people of Ukraine, underscored the need for an immediate cessation of Russian aggression, and welcomed the coordinated international response to the crisis. President Biden expressed appreciation for Turkey’s efforts to support a diplomatic resolution to the conflict, as well as Turkey’s recent engagements with regional leaders that help promote peace and stability. In addition, the presidents discussed opportunities to strengthen bilateral ties. President Erdogan told Biden that Turkey expects its demand from the U.S. for the procurement of 40 new planes and the modernization of the existing F-16s to be finalized as soon as possible, according to a statement from the Presidential Directorate of Communication. Erdogan also added that it was high time that all the unjust sanctions on Turkey’s defense industry had been lifted.
President Erdogan received his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev. The presidents discussed regional issues and Turkey-Azerbaijan relations, according to a statement from the Presidential Directorate of Communication. They also examined the issues surrounding the Zangezur corridor and Turkey-Nakhchivan Natural Gas Pipeline projects. The presidents shared their opinions about the contribution of Turkey-Azerbaijan cooperation to Europe’s energy security.
The current account balance posted a USD 7.11bn deficit in January, hitting a 4-year high, according to the Central Bank. The 12-month rolling deficit amounted to USD 20.2bn in January.
The industrial production index rose by 7.6% in January, compared to the same month last year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). The index dropped by 2.4% on a monthly basis.
The retail sales volume rose by 7.9% while the retail turnover jumped 73.9% in January compared to the same month last year, according to TurkStat. The retail sales volume dropped by 1.5% and the retail turnover increased by 7.0% month-over-month in January.
The total turnover index jumped 90.9% in January, compared to the same month last year, according to TurkStat. The index rose by 3.6% on a monthly basis.
>> Scooters and motorcycles have been banned in Istanbul until the second announcement due to bad weather conditions. Civil servants, workers, and other employees will be on administrative leave today.
>> Residents’ FX deposit accounts dropped by USD 607m in the week ending on March 4 compared to the previous week, according to parity-adjusted data. Residents’ FX deposit accounts totaled USD 214.1bn as of March 4, according to the Central Bank.
>> The total amount in the FX-protected TRY deposit accounts rose by 3.6% to TRY 539.1bn in the week ending on March 4 compared to the previous week, according to the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK).
>> The Central Bank’s international net reserves dropped by USD 41m to USD 18.14bn in the week ending on March 4, compared to the previous week. The bank’s total reserves decreased from USD 113.14bn to USD 110.26bn in the same period.
>>Foreign investors’ net equity and government debt securities (GDS) outflow from Turkey amounted to USD 309.2m and USD 181.4m respectively, while net corporate bond acquisitions totaled USD 2.9m in the week ending on March 4, according to the Central Bank.