Ankara keen on Azeri energy ties

ANKARA, Turkey, July 2 (UPI) -- Russia and the European Union should work in harmony on issues pertaining to regional energy security and diversification, Turkish officials say.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said en route to Moscow that the need to diversify the regional energy sector trumps any political wrangling, the Turkish daily Today's Zaman reports.


"Similarly, our initiative regarding the Nabucco project is a different issue and must be seen as normal," he stressed.

Yildiz is scheduled to meet his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shmatko, to discuss mutual concerns in the energy sector. Russian Deputy Premier Igor Sechin, for his part, indicated Moscow hoped to entice Ankara to join plans to develop its South Stream pipeline to southern Europe.

The Turkish minister is expected to raise the issue of preliminary arrangements to secure more than 200 billion cubic feet of natural gas from Russia during the next to years.

The bilateral talks come on the heels of a deal between Moscow and Baku for gas shipments to Russia. Yildiz downplayed the significance of that deal, saying it was a separate matter from Turkish relations with Azerbaijan in the energy sector.


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