Russia suspends gas project with Turkey amid recent tensions

Russia has suspended the construction of gas pipeline through turkey in the light of recent tensions.

Alexander Miller speaking at the conference

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told on Thursday December 3, 2015 “The negotiations on Turkish stream have been suspended.” The Russian-Turkish Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation which is dealing with the gas project has been suspended.

The recent downing of Russian warplane in Turkey’s airspace, the intervention of Russia in Syrian crisis and the allegations faced by Turkey that it’s buying oil from ISIS came to be known as the main reasons for this consequence.

The Turkish Stream gas pipeline is one of the major projects for Russia and Turkey. It aims to deliver Russian natural gas to Turkey via the Black Sea, and then further to Southern Europe.  The pipeline was originally supposed to transport 63 billion cubic meters of gas annually 16 billion to Turkey and 47 billion to the Turkey-Greece border.

The start of construction was scheduled for June but has been delayed as Moscow and Ankara failed to reach an intergovernmental agreement. And now, the recent tensions brought the project to a halt.


Despite Thursday's announcement, Russia has not completely closed the door for Turkey over the pipeline. If Turkey changes its mind and wants to be involved in the Turkish Stream, Alexey Miller, the CEO of Gazprom, Russia said “Turkey should first of all turn to Russia if it's interested in the project".

Both Turkey and Russia are dependent on each other when it comes to natural gas. In Turkey, domestic energy demand is surging and internal energy sources are extraordinarily limited. At the same time, selling gas is important for Russia's economy, which is heavily dependent on oil and has been hurt by the steep drop in global oil prices in the past year.


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