"We had a very positive meeting with [the head of the Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom Sergei] Kirienko, and of course we, both sides, are closely following the implementation of this project [the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant], we do have some problems but as a whole the project is being implemented as planned," Taner Yildiz told journalists
Yildiz noted that Turkey is building its very first nuclear power plant with Russia, the second – in cooperation with Japan and France and is planning to build the third plant mostly on its own. He also added that Turkey is open for cooperation and new projects.
On December 1, the Turkish ecology ministry gave the green light to the project. The same day Kirienko announced that Russia's state nuclear corporation Rosatom is planning to begin construction of the nuclear power plant at the Turkish site by March 2015.
Russia, Turkey Discuss Routes for New Black Sea Gas Pipeline
Russia and Turkey are currently discussing potential routes for a new Black Sea gas pipeline that would substitute the abandoned South Stream project, Taner Yildiz said.
"We have two options for the route, these are the [northern Turkish province of] Samsun and the Thrace [area between the borders of Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria]," the minister told reporters.
The Turkish energy minister said that Russia's Gazprom and Turkey's Botas energy companies are currently in talks over the creation of a legal entity to implement the construction of a new Black Sea gas pipeline to Turkey.
"Being reliable partners, we will be able to reach an agreement on this issue," Yildiz said.
The same day, the CEO of Gazprom Alexei Miller said that Gazprom and Botas had signed a memorandum of understanding on the construction of a Black Sea gas pipeline to Turkey with an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters. According to Miller, a total of 14 billion cubic meters a year will be supplied to Turkey while the rest will be pumped to a hub on the Turkish-Greek border to be delivered to Gazprom's customers in Southern Europe.