ANKARA/BAKU/MOSCOW (Reuters)—Turkey has agreed with Azerbaijan to accelerate the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), with an aim to have the gas project completed before the planned 2018, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on December 3, as quoted by Reuters.
In a joint news conference with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev in the capital Baku, Davutoglu also said Turkey was willing to share details of its recent jet downing incident with Russia.
This was the latest move by Turkey’s leaders, who are in an effort to diversify energy supplies as ties with its largest natural gas provider Russia have tumbled following the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey.
Earlier this week President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Qatar to explore the possibility of buying more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its Gulf Arab ally.
Turkey’s gas grid BOTAS and Qatar’s national oil energy company inked a memorandum of understanding during Erdogan’s visit on December 2 which will pave the way for Turkey to import LNG in both a regular and long-term manner, according to Turkish officials.
This accord will help Turkey’s LNG imports from Qatar gain a long-term perspective, the officials said, as reported by Anadolu Agency.
In the meantime, Russian gas supplies to Turkey are flowing normally, despite the row between the two countries, a source in Russian gas giant Gazprom told Reuters on December 3.
The source said gas was flowing at close to capacity via both main routes to Turkey, a pipeline via the Balkans and the Blue Stream route under the Black Sea.
Russia has however suspended talks on its joint Turkish Stream project to pipe gas to Turkey and southern Europe, Russia’s energy minister said on December 3.
“Currently talks are suspended,” Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, quoted by RIA Novosti state news agency. “Work on formulating agreements on the Turkish Stream is suspended,” particularly because “an intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation has stopped meeting” under Russia’s retaliatory measures against Ankara, Novak said.
However, talks on building a nuclear power plant in Turkey remained open, he added.