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Turkey, Russia may ‘develop Turkish Stream infrastructure together’

hurriyet

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency

The Turkish Stream natural gas line project between Turkey and Russia was of great importance, National Energy Security Fund Deputy Director Alexei Grivach has told Anadolu Agency, adding that the two countries could build the infrastructure for the line mutually. 

“Some European politicians may oppose the project but this is not important. Turkey and Russia may undertake the needed infrastructure together,” the Turkish agency quoted him as saying in an interview.

The Russian civil servant said a mutual deal between Ankara and Moscow would be sufficient for the initial part of the pipeline, but integrating the line with the European energy lines could take time, he said.

Greece was already interested in the project but Bulgaria and Romania could raise criticism against it in a bid to not lose their transition position, he also said.

Grivach also said Turkey’s recent disputes with both the U.S. and Europe could hamper Ankara’s plans to become an energy hub.

Angora Gas General Manager Gökhan Yardım told the agency that the project would take shape over two decades.

The Turkish natural gas importing companies would be able to demand an extra 4 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas annually once the project is completed.

Today, some 30 Turkish companies demand 10 bcm of Russian gas via the existing pipelines each year.

“Increasing this amount is important in terms of developing the private natural gas market in Turkey,” he said.

Turkey is already involved in another giant line, the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project.

Yardım said neither TANAP nor some other projects such as bringing in gas from northern Iraq or Israel would have a negative impact on the Turkish Stream.

Competition could emerge for Azerbaijani gas in the Balkan markets but “competition is good,” he said.

The issue is expected to be one of the key matters on the table when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meets with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in St Petersburg on Aug. 9.

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