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Russia’s Gazprom is ready to resume talks with Turkey to revive the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project and expects Turkey’s next move, Gazprom deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev said on Tuesday.
“We have already stated that the ball is in Turkey's court,” Medvedev noted.
Earlier on Tuesday officials from the two countries discussed the project, but no decision was reached. More talks on the pipeline plan will take place later, Russia’s Deputy Energy Minister Yuri Sentyurin said.
Gazprom had put forward the Turkish Stream project, planned to have an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meter of gas. The pipeline was expected to run from Russia to Turkey via the Black Sea on to a hub on the border between Turkey and Greece, to be later pumped on to southern Europe.
However, the project, announced in December 2014, was suspended in 2015 as the relations between Russia and Turkey deteriorated following Ankara’s shooting down a Russian military jet in November.
According to Russian news agency Sputnik, there was a thaw in the Moscow-Ankara relations in early June this year, when Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had sent a letter to Vladimir Putin, apologizing for the shooting of the jet.
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Yet, the attempted coup against Erdogan and the following purge by the Turkish president highlighted security concerns over oil and gas shipments at this crucial hub.
Last week, a Russian official said that Russia may revive the Bourgas- Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project which was suspended due to financial problems a few years ago. Bourgas-Alexandroupolis was conceived of as an alternative to transporting crude from Russia to the world via the Bosphorus strait, a congested waterway controlled by Turkey.
Clues about any projects may emerge on August 9 when Putin hosts Erdogan for a meeting in St Petersburg.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.