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Investment in joint Russian-Turkish projects to top $25 bln

Moscow and Ankara signed deals on Wednesday which their leaders hope will bring over $25 billion in mutual investment

Moscow and Ankara signed deals on Wednesday which their leaders hope will bring over $25 billion in mutual investment.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev paid an official visit to Ankara on Wednesday to sign deals including on the construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant and the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline.

"Overall investments...we plan to amass as a result of the signed deals in excess of $25 billion," Medvedev said, adding that deals will "provide new opportunities for both Turkey and Russia."

"Above all [the signed deals] will benefit our energy security which has become increasingly important these days," Medvedev said.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin told journalists in Ankara that over $20 billion will be invested in the construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant.

An international consortium consisting of Russia's nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly Atomstroyexport, electricity export company Inter RAO UES and Turkish Park Teknik won a tender for the construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant in June 2009.

"The nuclear energy deal opens a new page in cooperation between our states," President Medvedev said.

The consortium proposed building four nuclear power units with a capacity of 1.2 GW each under a Russian project. The nuclear power plant was expected to be built near the Mediterranean port of Mersin in the Akkuyu area and put into operation in 2016-2019.

The Russian deputy premier added that some $3 billion will be invested in the construction of the Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline, currently being built by the Turkish holding Calik Energy and Italy's ENI.

Medvedev said the construction of the 700-km (435-mile) pipeline through Turkey with a capacity of 60-70 million tons of oil a year (1.2-1.4 million bbl/d), remained one of the top priorities for the two states. The pipeline will stretch from the Black Sea city of Samsum to the Mediterranean city of Ceyhan in the country's south.

"The sides have agreed to actively develop it [the Samsun-Ceyhan project], including the possible construction of an oil refinery in Ceyhan," he said, adding that the two states may agree to jointly sell the refined oil in the future.

The deals are in line with Turkey's plans to buy most of the oil and gas it needs from Russia.

"As for the export of gas and oil to Turkey, Russia will cover 70% of Turkey's needs for these energy sources and now we are taking efforts to implement these undertakings," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan said during a joint press conference after his meeting with Medvedev.

To oversee the largest joint projects, the two states have set up a top-level cooperation council, co-chaired by Medvedev and Erdogan.

The two states also signed a bilateral visa-free travel deal, scrapping visas for tourists who enter Russia or Turkey for the period of 30 days or less. The deal is expected to come into force simultaneously with a readmission agreement.

Turkey remains one of the most popular tourist destinations among Russian tourists, with almost 2.5 million Russian nationals visiting the country last year.

ANKARA, May 12 (RIA Novosti)


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