Executives of the Russian energy firm, Gazprom, have held talks with the Turkish Energy Minister in Istanbul. The discussions centred on resuming work on the Turkish Stream project – a potentially divisive gas pipeline project to the EU.
A spokesman for Turkey’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Mehmet Ali Berber told RIA Novosti: “Gazprom CEO [Alexei Miller] met one on one with our minister [Berat Albayrak]. The Turkish Stream project, as well as arbitration over gas discounts and regional energy issues, were under discussion.”
Berber said that Miller is currently meeting with Turkey’s state-owned Botas Petroleum Pipeline Corporation. During this discussion, the discount issue in the Russian gas imported by Turkey will be on the agenda, as well the Turkish Stream project.
Gazprom’s Deputy CEO, Alexander Medvedev, told Russia’s TASS news agency that the company will take part in the delegation on the Turkish Stream pipeline. He commented: “[The talks] are actually under way. This process began at the [recent] meeting of the Turkish economy minister with Russia’s Energy Minister. They agreed on the resumption of the project.”
The Turkish Stream pipeline is set to run via Turkey, under the Black Sea, to Greece. It was designed to replace South Stream, a proposed pipeline running between Russia and Bulgaria. The South Stream project was scrapped because under EU competition law, Gazprom would have had to distribute its ownership of the project and let rival firms use the pipe.
The Turkish Stream project was also scrapped by Russia last year, after Turkey shot down a Russian jet, which it said had crossed into its airspace from Syria. Since the Turkish leader apologised to Russia’s Vladimir Putin in June, diplomatic relations are beginning to reset.