Turkish PM says no reason to halt Akkuyu plant with Russia
ANKARAThere is no reason to halt the planned Akkuyu nuclear power plant with Russia, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Dec. 14, after Turkish officials said last week that Russia had stopped construction on the plant.
“We want to keep all communication channels with Russia open… There is not any problem with the inflow of Russian gas to Turkey… I hope Russia will not refrain from fulfilling its liabilities…from the existing agreements. There is not any reason to stop the Akkuyu power plant project now,” he said in a televised interview on A Haber, as quoted by Reuters.
The $20 billion project would be Turkey’s first nuclear power plant. But its continuing progress has been complicated by increasing tension between Moscow and Ankara after Turkey downed a Russian warplane over Syria on Nov. 24.
Reuters quoted Turkish energy officials as saying on Dec. 9 that Russia’s Rosatom stopped work at the site in southern Turkey.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Russian Ria Novosti as saying that Akkuyu NGS, the company founded to develop the plant, was continuing its activities. Turkish Energy Ministry sources and Akkuyu NGS officials also said they had not received any information about a halt in work, with efforts to build a port in Akkuyu for the plant continuing as planned.
Davutoğlu also said investors’ biggest priority is rule of law, which he says the government will maintain with a detailed reform plan so as to improve Turkey’s investment environment.
“We’ll meet a number of investors as well as foreign politicians and several foreign institutions in January and February in 2016,” he added.
He also called the recent debate over the independence of the Turkish Central Bank “overblown,” as quoted by Reuters.
Davutoğlu said the Central Bank would take “necessary steps in terms of its policy-tool independence” after the highly anticipated U.S. Federal Reserve’s (Fed) rate increase and that he does not expect the subsequent shocks on the Turkish economy to be long-lasting.