Turkish Stream talks: Turkey has confirmed that it is ready to continue negotiations about the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich claimed this week, after a meeting between representatives from the two countries’ energy ministries on Tuesday.
His claim was corroborated by Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci , who confirmed that “political decisions” were “in place to settle the issue of further implementation of the project.
“We are open for construction of the first line of the Turkish Stream from standpoint of Turkey’s need for natural gas,” he added.
Construction of the 1,100km, 63bcm capacity Turkish Stream pipeline intended to deliver Russian gas to Turkey via the Black Sea was initially scheduled to begin in 2014 but was delayed after Moscow and Ankara failed to reach an intergovernmental agreement, and negotiations on the project were suspended after Turkey shot down a Russian jet in Syria in November 2015.
Relations between the two countries began to improve last month after Turkey’s President Erdogan apologised for the incident, and Russia’s support during the recent abortive coup attempt seems to have eased tensions further.
The future of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant was also discussed at Tuesday’s meeting, Dvorkovich said, apparently putting paid to rumours that Rosatom, the Russian state-run nuclear power enterprise that was contracted to build the $20bn, 35bn kwh facility in 2010, was planning to sell its 49% stake in the project.The Akkuyu plant is located in the southern province of Mersin, and is the first of three nuclear power plants that Turkey plans to build to reduce its dependence on energy imports. “There is some progress here already,” Dvorkovich told reporters. “The necessary regulatory framework is being finished by the Turkish side. We expect to be able to move forward quite quickly.’