BUDAPEST (Sputnik) — Russia will not give up its cooperation with Turkey on Turkish Stream pipeline construction, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday after a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
“We will not give up cooperation with Turkey. Not just because it is improper – to have an agreement with the Turkish friends, and now to say ‘no, Europe offers us something else’, but also because we cannot put ourselves in an embarrassing position: today the European Commission refused, tomorrow it agreed, and the day after tomorrow it will refuse again. This is why we call for serious, long-term cooperation, like it was in the past years,” Putin said.
Putin said, however, that Russia is ready to cooperate with the European Union on gas transit via the new pipeline, but everything depends on the European Commission.
“We are ready to go through Greece… We have no intentions to close anything, to cut ourselves from anyone, but it is the logistics question now – where it is more profitable, where it is more efficient. But this is if they will help us. If they will hinder, then it is not our choice, it is the decision of the European Commission, of our European partners,” Putin stated.
Putin added that Russia cherishes its reputation of a reliable energy resources supplier to Europe and Hungary.
Putin also said that Russia is ready to build a pipeline to Turkey with a capacity required for Europe.
“We need to increase the volume [of gas supplies] to Turkey at the request of our Turkish partners. We will build a gas system [leading to Turkey] in any case. We are ready to build it with a needed capacity for this gas to go to the European Union,” Putin said.
When commenting on Russian-Hungarian cooperation in the energy sector, Putin said that Moscow will give a positive response to Budapest’s requests in this field after 2015, including with regard to the usage of gas storage facilities.