Embassy Information

The letter by Ambassador of Russia in Turkey Vladimir Ivanovskiy to the Hurriyet Daily News, published on November 25, 2009

Dear Editor,

I looked through the article Diplomat hits out at Moscow policy, published by the Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Nov. 16, 2009, and compiled from an exclusive interview given by the ambassador of Ukraine in Turkey, Mr. S.Korsunsky, to the newspapers reporter Ms. Dondu Sar11s1k.

My attention was drawn to two main ideas outlined by my Ukrainian colleague. The first thesis said that Russian energy policy was based on a dominance-seeking strategy. The second alleged the South Stream pipeline project was aimed at bypassing Ukraine, killing Nabucco and even more that it is threatening the political and economic independence of the Republic of Turkey.

Unfortunately, such gloomy estimations of perfidious plans by Moscow are quite frequently voiced by representatives of Kiev. Leaving these remarks on their conscience, I have only to conclude that Mr. Korsunsky, with his publicized opinions, fails to follow good diplomatic practices, which recommend avoiding comments on the bilateral relations of other states, and especially neighboring states.

It is quite evident that such statements are biased on some of the following key aspects:

Despite the global economic crisis, experts agree that in the middle-term and long run, natural-gas consumption in the European Union will grow and by 2020 to 2025, Europe will need an additional 200 billion cubic meters of gas per annum.

Therefore, increasing gas supplies and eliminating transit risks become important issues for European energy security. The initiatives of Russia and other partners to build the Nord Stream and South Stream pipelines as new gas routes fully meet these criteria. Along with this, we do not deny options for other pipelines, namely Nabucco, since the expected demand for gas in Europe makes it possible to implement several projects at once, provided the necessary resources are there.

I would like to underline that more Russian supplies of gas through South Stream means not only a solution to ensuring better energy security and diversification of energy routes in Europe, but gives new impetus to the energy sectors and economies of a number of the Balkan countries participating with Russia in this project, in accordance with the signed intergovernmental agreements.

Now, a few words on Russian-Turkish relations. Whether someone likes it or not, the cooperation between our countries in the energy sphere is of strategic importance and has potential for further development. The leadership of Russia and Turkey supports the strengthening and diversification of the existing ties between relevant ministries and institutions in all spheres of the energy sector and by means of the implementation of concrete projects.

There are many examples of cooperation in the power industry, including its nuclear segment; construction of the oil-and-gas pipelines South Stream, Blue Stream 2 and Samsun-Ceyhan; building an oil refinery in Turkey; the entry of Russian companies, namely Lukoil, to the Turkish wholesale and retail markets; Russian invitations to Turkish partners to develop hydrocarbon deposits in Russia; and many other joint initiatives. Particularly, the other day in Istanbul, Gazprom and BOTAS held negotiations on a new gas agreement to come into force after 2010.

I would like to conclude my remark on the statements of Ambassador Korsunsky with reference to a well-known and recognized fact: Russia has always faultlessly fulfilled its commitments on energy supplies and proved to be a reliable and honest partner of Turkey. I am sure it will continue to be so.

Ambassador of Russia in Turkey

Vladimir Ivanovskiy