Negotiations on Turkish Stream to be continued
The difference in the approaches of Moscow and Ankara to what is happening around Syria has forced experts to talk about a deterioration of Russian-Turkish relations. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry says that contacts with Ankara "confirm the desire of Russia and Turkey for a speedy resolution of the acute problems of the region." Moscow is ready to continue dialogue on a whole range of complex issues of Middle East problematics. Taking into account the statements voiced in Ankara about the ways the Russian-Turkish economic cooperation, some experts predict problems in energy cooperation, in particular regarding the Turkish Stream project.
However, Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky is optimistic. In support of his point of view, he suggests looking at the history of Russian-Turkish relations in this area:
In 1984 the first intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Turkey was signed. It was devoted to organization of gas supplies to Turkey through the Trans-Balkan Corridor. The supplies started in 1987. And they successfully continue today.
Later, in 1997, the intergovernmental agreement on construction of the Blue Stream Gas Pipeline was signed in Russia. It was constructed. And at the moment, about 30 billion cubic meters of gas are exported to Turkey from Russia through these two pipelines.
These volumes fully cover the demand of the Turkish side. And often in the winter period, when Turkey demands additional volumes which are not required by the contract with Gazprom-Export, Gazprom always provides these additional volumes and finds resources for overcoming the peaks of consumption.
At the beginning of the year the Turkish government started to consider the issue of establishing the Turkish Stream gas transport system, which should directly connect the RF and the northern part of Turkey along the bed of the Black Sea. A draft of the corresponding intergovernmental agreement was presented to the Turkish side.
"Due to the events which are happening in Turkey, I mean the change of the government, the elections, it is difficult for our Turkish partners to take responsibility for this or that decision. However, we expect and will make such offers to our colleagues, that in the very near future certain consultations of the agreement will be held. This will provide additional 16 billion cubic meters of gas for Turkish internal consumption; moreover, it will create new opportunities for providing additional gas supplies to the Balkans," Yanovsky stated.
He reminded that, in addition to gas, Russian-Turkish cooperation also covers issues related to oil, oil products and electric power: "Speaking about oil and oil products, we should note that the leader of our cooperation is Lukoil. As for the energy sphere, I should point out that our company Inter RAO owns 100% of the shares of the Turkish Gas Electricity Power Station Trakay-Electric. The station began operating in 1999, and Inter RAO purchased a part of the shares in the mid 2000s. In recent times the rest of the shares were bought. The company is working stably, providing Turkey with electric power."