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    Turkey Abandoning Russian Gas Supplies 'Totally Unrealistic'

    © AFP 2019 / ADEM ALTAN
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    A comment by Turkish Present Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkey may abandon buying Russian gas has nothing in common with reality, Volkan Ozdemir, director of the Institute for Energy Markets and Policy, told RIA Novosti.

    On Monday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said a Russian military aircraft violated the country’s airspace near Syria on October 3. The Russian Defense Ministry later confirmed that on October 3 a Su-30 fighter briefly entered Turkish airspace for a few seconds due to poor weather conditions.

    On Thursday Erdogan said that due to tensions between Moscow and Ankara over the incident Turkey may reconsider buying Russian gas and the building of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant. 

    Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the incident would not spark tensions between the two countries.

    "I think Erdogan made a political statement. It is populist, and should not be considered too seriously," he said.

    "Gas contract between Russia and Turkey is based on the 'take or pay' formula. This is why it is technically impossible for Turkey to fully abandon Russian gas supplies. Only an insignificant decline in supplies is possible. What is more, Russia has no right to significantly decrease or stop its gas deliveries to Turkey," Ozdemir explained.

    The analyst added that violations of the Turkish airspace by Russian jets are not acceptable and could lead to further deterioration of relations between the two countries.

    "If relations between Russia and Turkey deteriorate first of all Russian energy companies working in Turkey would be hit. They would risk losing their market share in the country," he said.

    In 2014, Gazprom delivered to Turkey 27.4 billion cubic meters of gas which amounts for nearly 60 percent of Turkey’s gas consumption. Turkey is the second-largest buyer for Gazprom, after Germany. Russian gas is transported to Turkey via the Blue Stream pipeline which runs under the Black Sea and via the Trans-Balkan pipeline across Ukraine. Currently, there is a plan to increase supplies.

    On December 1 2014, Gazprom and Turkish company BOTAS which operates the Turkish section of Blue Stream signed a memorandum on the construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline to carry natural gas from Russia to Turkey via the Black Sea.

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    Tags:
    Turkish Stream pipeline, energy, Gazprom, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, Russia
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