Turkey does not have to choose between Russia and EU, Energy Minister says
Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız.Turkey is being asked whether it intends to choose Russia over the EU, but both are important for Ankara and it is not a matter of choice, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız has said.
“When [Russian President Vladimir] Putin visited Turkey, they asked whether we’d prefer Russia or the EU. We clearly explained that Turkey does not give up on one or the other and said our roadmaps with both Russia and the EU were ongoing,” Yıldız said, addressing an annual ambassadors’ conference on Jan. 8.
“Russia is important to Turkey and Turkey is also important for Russia,” he said, adding that the two countries might not be on the same track on all political issues but this fact is "accepted" by both Ankara and Moscow.
“Turkey has accurately determined which issues will be isolated from energy issues,” Yıldız stated.
The energy minister also stressed that the partners of the South Stream energy pipeline project were not Turkey, but rather the EU states, so it is the latter that must “settle accounts” over the issue.