20:06 GMT28 January 2020
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    Turkey is able to find alternatives to Russian oil and gas supplies amid strained relations between the two countries, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — "It is possible to find different suppliers," Erdogan told a forum held as a part of the Turkey Innovation Week in Istanbul Congress Center, as quoted by the Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper.

    The president added that Turkish "biggest supplier is Russia for natural gas, and Iraq for crude oil. But, they are not the only ones."

    During the speech, Erdogan claimed that Turkey suspended the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project over Moscow inconsistency with Ankara's demands long before the Su-24 downing.

    On November 24, a Su-24 aircraft was brought down in Syria by an air-to-air missile fired from a Turkish F-16 fighter. According to Ankara, the missile was fired in response to a violation of Turkish airspace. The Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command said that the Su-24 never crossed into Turkish airspace.

    On Tuesday, the Russian government imposed economic restrictions on Turkey. On Thursday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that intergovernmental negotiations between Russia and Turkey on the Turkish Stream project had been suspended.

    The Turkish Stream gas pipeline, with an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters, was announced in December 2014. The pipeline was expected to run below the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and continue to a hub on the Turkish-Greek border, from where gas could be transferred to Southern Europe.


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    Oil, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, Iraq, Russia
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