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14:55, 21 July 2018 Saturday
16:52, 22 December 2014 Monday

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Between EU and Russia, Turkey not taking sides
Between EU and Russia, Turkey not taking sides
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Turkish energy minister Yildiz addresses Putin decision to scrap South Stream project and opt for alternative route through Turkey

World Bulletin / News Desk
 Turkey will avoid taking sides in the dispute on oil and natural gas between the European Union and Russia, said Turkey’s energy minister Taner Yildiz on Monday.

Turkey is not a partner of South Stream, Yildiz said at the Introduction Meeting of World Energy Outlook 2014 Report in Istanbul, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to scrap the construction of the South Stream natural gas pipeline and opt for an alternative route through Turkey.

"Turkey will abandon neither its membership bid to EU, nor its Russian neighbor," said Yildiz. 

The South Stream pipeline was planned to carry gas from Russia through Bulgaria to reach European markets. Instead, in a visit to Ankara early December, Putin proposed a new natural gas pipeline route that would carry gas from Russia through Turkey. 

Yildiz also defined the deal between Turkey and Russia as a goodwill agreement, stating that the deal was not yet legally binding.   

Yildiz also addressed the issue of Iraqi oil.

“Until 2040, there will be an oil capacity increase of 14 million barrels per day (worldwide), of which 4 million will come from Iraq. Turkey cannot be indifferent to this issue,” Yildiz said.

“We had fruitful meetings with my colleagues from Baghdad. This Thursday, we will have a very strategic cooperation meeting in Ankara with the Iraqi prime minister,” he said.

“Iraq’s unsteadiness is our concern," he added. "That’s why Iraq’s stability is also our concern."

Iraq's total oil production has increased from 1.3 million barrels per day in 2003 to 3 million barrels per day in 2013, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data.

The country has recently been plagued by internal political strife and a conflict with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has taken over large areas of Iraqi territory.


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