A planned gas pipeline project to link Russia and Turkey, dubbed the “Turkish Stream,” has been shelved by Turkey because its demands were not met, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Dec. 5.
Russia's energy minister said on Dec. 3 that Moscow has suspended talks on the project in the wake of a crisis between the two countries that emerged when Turkey shot down a Russian jet on the Syrain border on Nov. 24.
Erdoğan, speaking at a meeting in Istanbul, dismissed the remark as a "lie", saying that in fact Turkey had suspended the project - and long before the plane incident - because of Russia's "non-compliance with our demands."
“There is no indication that the problems between us and Russia will be reflected to Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant project” Erdoğan added at a meeting in Istanbul.
The Turkish Stream project would see four pipelines carrying Russian natural gas under the Black Sea, linking southern Russia to western Turkey. This would allow Russia to achieve its goal of delivering gas to Europe while avoiding Ukraine.
Turkey’s first power plant project was undertaken by Russia’s Rosatom in the southern province of Akkuyu.
Erdoğan said that Ankara could find alternatives to Russian oil and gas.
"It is possible to find different suppliers" Erdoğan said, referring to Qatar and Azerbaijan.
Erdoğan this week visited the Gulf country Qatar where he agreed a deal for LNG purchases, while his Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu traveled to energy-rich Azerbaijan.
Turkey depends on outside suppliers for 90.5 percent of its oil and 98.5 percent of its natural gas, the president said.
Addressing concerns over possible natural gas shortages, Erdoğan said Turkey can also use its renewable energy resources.