Turkish Stream first line launch postponed due to political crisis in Turkey: Gazprom
CİHAN photoThe launch date of the first line of the Turkish Stream project has been postponed due to the political crisis in Turkey, Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said on Sept. 14, as quoted by Russia’s TASS News Agency.
High-level Turkish officials said Turkey and Russia have been unable to make progress in the planned Turkish Stream project and have frozen talks for now.
“We can’t move forward in the negotiations at the moment. Russia placed the gas discount talks between Gazprom and Turkey’s gas grid, BOTAŞ, as a prerequisite to the Turkish Stream project. But we saw this as a starting point. As no government could be established after the June election in Turkey, the talks have been frozen for now. The parties have not ended the talks, but frozen them,” said Energy Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Sefa Sadık Aytekin, as quoted by daily Hürriyet last week.
Aytekin noted Turkey had increased its requested gas discount from around 6 percent to 10.25 percent.
“We actually wanted to negotiate these issues separately from each other,” he said at the 16th International Energy Arena meeting, held by the Strategic Technical Economic Research Center (STEAM) on Sept. 10.
Interim Energy Minister Ali Rıza Alaboyun also said it seemed unlikely for Russia and Turkey to come to an agreement before a new government is established in Turkey.
Earlier this month, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in a television interview that the construction of the first line of the Turkish Stream would begin in late June. Earlier the start of the construction had been planned for “early June,” as quoted by TASS. In any case, to start laying pipes, Russia and Turkey need to sign an intergovernmental agreement regulating prospecting activities in Turkish territory.
The Turkish Stream project is planned to transport Russian gas to Europe via the Turkish-Greek border while bypassing Ukraine. It is planned to carry 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe.