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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Russia will be allowed to rest in Turkey in exchange for Turkish stream

For the first time in two years in Moscow arrives to the Turkish government delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli. To remove the Russian sanctions he will be assisted by Ministers of tourism, energy and the economy. For Russia tourist, the question is not key. Much more important than the fate of two frozen energy projects: the construction of a nuclear power station “Akkuyu” in South-East Turkey and black sea gas pipeline “Turkish stream”. The cost is estimated at tens of billions of dollars.

photo: Gennady Cherkasov

The last time a high-ranking Turkish delegation arrived in Moscow shortly before Vladimir Putin’s visit to Turkey to visit Recep Erdogan in December 2014. During that time, our country had from mutual love to roll up full of hatred, and now, after the apology of the Turkish leader for the downed Russian bomber, the process is reversed. Restore “friendly relations” can not prevent even an attempt of a coup d’etat in Turkey.

And restore the there is something. During the embargo, from January to may 2016, foreign trade turnover between Russia and Turkey fell by 43% to $6.1 billion.

The talks scheduled for July 26-27. The development of tourism, the lifting of the ban on deliveries of vegetables and fruit are important topics, but not for Russia. In addition, it is more or less clear. The regular season in Turkey is flying, Charter will start to do it soon. Produce import to the end of the year is also allowed, however, most likely in a truncated version. For example, cucumbers and tomatoes can stay banned.

For us more interesting energy projects that are formally under the sanctions did not hit, but in fact it turned out suspended. We are talking about the construction of “Rosatom” NPP “Akkuyu” and main gas pipeline “Turkish stream pipeline across the Black sea.

The cost of the contract at a nuclear power plant is $20 billion According to the plan of the first power unit is scheduled within six years. Since the end of last year, Turkey could have hindered the construction site, did not provide the necessary documents, delayed the financing. At some point does not exclude the possibility of a full stop or a sale of a controlling stake of the Russian foreign competitors. Side of the breach of contract had kept that in this case would have had to pay huge compensation.

As for the “Turkish stream”, initially by agreement of 2014, its annual capacity was supposed to be 64 billion cubic meters of gas, then it was reduced in 2 times. Ankara has still not officially agreed to this volume. In any case, the beginning of deliveries is planned for 2019. It was then that ends the transit agreement between Russia and Ukraine.

Until recently, neither the Ministry nor Gazprom do not have a clear understanding of what to do with “Turkish stream” on. The more that has already been purchased pipes at hundreds of billions of rubles. The renewal of the “Turkish stream” can come in very handy for another reason. And because of the problems with the construction of the Baltic pipeline “Nord stream-2”. As is known, the poles for fear of strengthening the Russian presence in the local gas market opposed the creation of Gazprom and its European partners a joint venture for the construction of this pipeline. To support them, and the Baltic States.

On the other hand, Russia needs additional safeguards, including from the EU, the demand for future gas supplies through a southern corridor. What to do is not so easy, especially after Bulgaria at the request of the European Commission blocked construction under the Black sea alternative “South stream”.

Relations between Russia and Turkey. Chronicle of events

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