Russia still interested in Turkish Stream and Akkuyu

 Russia still interested in Turkish Stream and Akkuyu

Russia continues to show interest in the Turkish Stream pipeline project and the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, but in the light of difficulties in relations between Moscow and Ankara, their future is under question, the Russian ambassador to Ankara, Andrei Karlov, said.

"Russia is not abandoning the Turkish Stream project, but the ball is in Turkey's court now. It is very difficult to predict the further situation with the project in current conditions, so we are waiting for the Turkish side to come to its senses and do everything it must do for the normalization of bilateral relations," RIA Novosti cited him as saying.

There is a similar situation with the Akkuyu nuclear power plant. "All our actions in relation to Turkey are very clear and transparent. The Akkuyu nuclear power plant was not mentioned in the president's decree or in the three government decrees. The project isn't cancelled from our side, but the prospects of its implementation are now more dependent on the Turkish side," the ambassador stressed.

The leading analyst of the National Energy Security, Igor Yushkov, in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza said that Russia needs to implement the South Stream or the Turkish Stream. "Firstly, it is necessary for Russia to carry out fairly large deliveries to Turkey, as we have signed a long-term contract, which brings us a significant profit. And after the rejection of the transit through Ukraine we still have to supply Turkey with gas. Turkey receives half through the current Blue Stream project, but there is a second half still. Of course, it's quite absurd to deliver it through the Nord Stream," the expert said.

However, if the situation continues to develop in the same vein, Russia will have to extend the transit through the Ukrainian transportation system, but it would also be a defeat for Russia to some extent," he said.

"The creation of the project was the decision of Putin and Erdogan. Now it turns out that the Turkish Stream's foundation is destroyed and it is not clear how to implement the project without a political component," the leading analyst of the National Energy Security explained.

Yushkov concluded that it's beneficial for Russia to implement the Turkish Stream. "But there are political moments again. Because the Russian leadership will not engage in dialogue with Erdogan and his representatives now. And the implementation of the Turkish Stream is impossible without the signing of an intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Turkey," he noted.

"The main obstacle for the Turkish Stream project is the lack of dialogue between Moscow and Ankara. So questions of where the pipeline will go after Turkey and who should pay for the construction of a gas pipeline to Europe are already secondary," Yushkov concluded.

A senior fellow at the Energy Policy Branch of the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ivan Kapitonov, drew attention to the positive competition between the Turkish Stream and the Nord Stream-2 projects. "These two projects compete with each other and we can expect significant changes only through such a healthy competition. In fact, we need to realize only one of these two projects to deliver the proper amount of gas to Europe. So, of course, one way or another, Russia has its own interests in the promotion of the Turkish Stream project to force Germany and Turkey to compete with each other," the expert.

"We must understand that the Turkish Stream will supply gas not only to Turkey. Significant volumes of gas will be supplied further to the European market. If we manage to bypass the Third Energy Package and sell our gas to final consumers, then the project will become economically feasible. If we are not able to do it, a hub on Turkish territory will be established, so it would be engaged in the resale of Russian gas. There are too many questions, from the political point of view," he stressed.