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Russia: No political issues with Turkish pipeline

Turkey summoned Russian ambassador to complain about regional military operations.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Russia: No political issues with Turkish pipeline
Russian gas monopoly Gazprom chief Alexei Miller says there are no political obstacles to advancing a gas pipeline through Turkey. File photo by Anatoli Zhdanov/UPI | License Photo

MOSCOW, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- There are no political affairs interfering with bilateral talks on building a natural gas pipeline through Turkey, Russian energy company Gazprom said.

Turkey is the second-largest consumer of Russian natural gas. Gazprom last year surveyed the land route through Turkey for a pipeline dubbed Turkish Stream, a scaled-back version of the South Stream gas pipeline proposed for the region.

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The Kremlin sent two offers to the Turkish government for consideration on the pipeline project in mid-2015. In August, the government said there was still no word on the project from Ankara.

Alexei Miller, chief executive officer at Gazprom, said there was nothing in the way of bilateral agreements on the gas pipeline.

"Work to draft the text [of the intergovernmental agreement] is ongoing," he said. "No factors affect this work."

Russian military intervention in Syria has frustrated the Turkish governments and its allies in the NATO alliance. The Turkish Foreign Minister issued a strong protest this week to weekend violations of Turkish airspace by Russian military forces.

The ministry "demanded that any such violation not be repeated, and affirmed that the Russian Federation would be responsible for the consequences in case of their recurrence."

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The U.S. government, a strong Turkish ally, said Russia was acting from a position of weakness by intervening in the Syrian civil war on the side of President Bashar al-Assad. Russia's economy is strained by the pressure of sanctions and low crude oil prices.

Crude oil prices spiked last week with Russian entered the Syrian conflict.

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