Turkish Stream Pipeline Suspended, Russia Confirms
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has announced the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project between Moscow and Ankara has been abandoned.
Novak's statement that work on the project is now suspended comes after earlier comments by Russian officials that talks between Russia and Turkey over the project had not yet been frozen as reported.
The development comes amid heightened Ankara-Moscow tensions over the downing of a Russian jet by the Turkish air forces.
Turkish Stream was announced on December 02 of last year as an alternative to South Stream, a pipeline project that was to carry gas to Central Europe via Bulgaria and Serbia. Russian President Vladimir Putin than declared South Stream abandoned, citing EU opposition which had resulted in Bulgaria's refusal to issue construction permits.
Russia introduced economic sanctions against Turkey after the incident, but initially maintained current projects such as Turkish Stream and the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant would not fall in the scope of restrictions.
Bilateral talks on the project had been in limbo for months, with the two state-run companies, Gazprom and Botas, failing to agree on gas pricing.
Russia's TASS agency earlier quoted Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller as saying if Turkey is intersted in Turkish Stream it must turn to Russia so that talks are carried out.
"[If it] turns to us - we'll consider [renewing talks]. Turkey hasn't turned to us with a proposal to build Turkish Stream."
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