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Russia, Turkey to realize energy projects in 2010, says ambassador

21 January 2010 [14:38] - TODAY.AZ
2010 will be a critical year for Turkey and Russia to realize energy projects and to integrate economies. Ankara will host high level guests from Moscow before President Dimitry Medvedev visits Istanbul in the summer to co-chair the first meeting of the Turkey-Russia Cooperation Council.

The coming year will be critical for Turkey and Russia to realize energy projects and to integrate economies, according to the Russian ambassador to Ankara.

Ankara will host Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Energy Minister Sergey Shmatko in February and March before President Dimitry Medvedev visits Istanbul in the summer to co-chair the first meeting of the Turkey-Russia Cooperation Council.

“We are entering into a new partnership and settling down to work rather than waste time with empty words,” said Ambassador Vladimir Ivanovskiy in an interview with the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

“Putin suggested a real economic integration, in which Turkish companies are allowed to produce energy in Russia while Russian companies are involved in energy sale and distribution in Turkey. We are ready to open our energy market to Turkish companies,” he said.

Mutual investments in the energy field are the only way to rebuke claims saying Russia will put pressure on Turkey thanks to its energy card, according to Ivanovskiy.

Canceled nuclear plant damages Turkish-Russian relations

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed on the construction of two nuclear power plants in Turkey, bypassing expected tenders. The Constitutional Court canceled a tender that Russia’s Atom Story Export won, due failing to meet competition criteria.

Avoiding commenting on the court’s earlier decision, Ivonvoskiy said Turkish and Russian experts would meet in Ankara toward the end of January to fix details. “We need to make the agreement ready in the spring and sign it in the summer (during the visit of Medvedev). The quicker the better because it will take at least a year to 18 months to kick-off construction, even after the signing ceremony.”

“There is no time to waste as nuclear energy has increased in worldwide popularity. Twenty new reactor blocks will be constructed across Russia, and we have already signed an agreement with the Indian government to build two reactor blocks at a nuclear plant although we have yet to end up discussing with the Turks.”

Ivanovskiy said, “The project has no political dimension but is an economic one. Both sides are driving a hard bargain with the aim of protecting their own national interests.”

Asked what happens if one more project is canceled, the ambassador replied: “The final decision belongs to Turkey. A negative decision will not be tragic for Russia, which has received offers from other countries. But, no doubt, it will negatively affect economic relations between the two countries.”

/Hurriyet Daily News/
URL: http://www.today.az/news/regions/59855.html

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