Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily has confirmed Russia and Turkey have agreed to create a “Russia-Turkey Investment Fund” following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Moscow early last week, where he met with President Putin to more broadly discuss technological cooperation, closer military ties and the future of action and local ceasefires in Syria.
The initiative was announced by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, and Turkey Wealth Fund (TWF) last week connected to the summit.
“At the initial stage the investments in the funds’ projects will amount to 200 million euros. The total size of the Russia-Turkey Investment Fund is 900 million euros,” the RDIF said in a statement.
The agreement of the new cooperative venture was signed in the presence of Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and will be central to assisting joint Russian-Turkish projects in the areas of technology, healthcare, and urban infrastructure.
“This is an important milestone for TWF and we believe initiating investments through RTIF in focused sectors will cement the relationship of both sovereign investment funds and further strengthen the relationship between Turkey and Russia,” the managing director of the Turkey Wealth Fund, Zafer Sönmez, said in a media release.
The TWF is described as follows:
Turkey’s wealth fund, established in 2016, holds the total or part of shares of several Turkish companies such as flag carrier Turkish Airlines, telecommunications giant Türk Telekom, state-owned lenders Ziraat and Halk, Turkish Petroleum and Borsa Istanbul.
Its portfolio also includes the petroleum pipeline company BOTAŞ, the postal services company PTT, and the national lottery Milli Piyango.
According to the fund’s website, its mission is to develop and increase the value of the country’s strategic assets and consequently provide resource for our country’s primary investments.
More broadly, the newly established Russia-Turkey Investment Fund further suggests that Turkey is fast moving into Moscow’s orbit.
For starters, Putin and Erdogan have already met multiple times this year, which doesn’t bode well for the White House’s ultimatum weeks ago saying that “Turkey must choose.”
It appears Turkey’s “choice” is becoming evident. Washington and Ankara have been in a diplomatic showdown and crisis surrounding blocked orders of Lockheed’s F-35 stealth fighter due to Turkey’s plan to receive Russian S-400 anti-air defense systems this summer.
Erdogan again affirmed last week amid US ultimatums, “those who ask or suggest we backtrack don’t know us,” and told reporters just after meeting with Putin, “If we sign a deal on an issue, that’s a done deal. This is our sovereign right, no one can ask us to back down.’’