January 25, 2010
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Russia, Turkey Review Energy Cooperation Plans

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin received his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks Wednesday, at which they agreed on deepening the two countries' energy cooperation.

According to the Interfax news agency, Putin said afterwards that the two countries aim to bring Italy on as a partner in the planned trans-Anatolia oil pipeline project.

The pipeline would link Turkey's Samsun port on the Black Sea with its Mediterranean coastal city Ceyhan, some 400 kilometers directly to the south.

In addition, the two sides agreed to step up their efforts in the South-Stream gas pipeline project, Putin said.

This project is regarded as posing competition with the Nabucco gas pipeline project with which the European Union aims to become less dependent on Russian gas deliveries.

Putin also said that Russian firms would soon take a more active role in the privatization of Turkish energy firms, for example in enterprises to provide gas to Istanbul.

Erdogan said he was enthusiastic about Russian interest in the trans-Anatolia pipeline, noting that, until now, Russia had focused more on a pipeline extending from the Black Sea to Greece via Bulgaria.

Turning to other matters, Putin said he encouraged an ongoing reconciliation process between Turkey and Armenia, but said that the question of Armenian occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan is a question that cannot get wrapped up in the larger reconciliation process.

Armenia took possession of the disputed territory in 1994.

"Russia is interested in a speedy reconciliation," said Putin. "But every problem needs to be considered individually."

Copyright 2010 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH


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