Rusya Federasyonu Dışişleri Bakan Yardımcısı Sergey S.Razov’un Anadolu Ajansına verdiği  ve Turkish Daily news gazetesinde 13 Kasım 2003 tarihinde yayınlanan mulakatın İngilizce özeti ‘Russia optimistic on Turkish gas deal’

‘Russia optimistic on Turkish gas deal’, 13.11.2003, Turkish Daily News

ANKARA - Russia said on Wednesday that it hoped to find a mutually acceptable solution to a natural gas pricing dispute with Turkey.

Technical talks between Turkey and its largest natural gas supplier are still underway, although officials of the two countries have worked out an agreement in principle for the sale of Russian gas to Turkey at the same prices made available to European consumers.

Gas deliveries from Russia through the Blue Stream pipeline, which runs below the Black Sea, started last spring. Turkey and Russia began new talks on the project terms after the Turkish side complained prices were too high.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Sergeyevich Razov told the Anatolia news agency that the Blue Stream project is the most important element in economic relations between the two countries.

"Moscow is confident that the project will respond to the needs of both countries in the long run. Talks on the commercial aspects of Blue Stream are still underway between the two sides. We hope to find a mutually acceptable solution," said Razov.

Razov also said his country favored improving cooperation with Turkey and promoting the new dynamic in Russo-Turk relations. "We see that the Turkish side is also willing to expand ties," he said.

Talks between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mihail Kasyanov in December 2002 were key in promoting the relationship, he said.

Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül is also due to pay a visit to Moscow to discuss ties, and Razov said he was hopeful that this visit would further improve relations. Razov also praised work undertaken by a joint committee that was formed to implement a joint-action plan.

"The working group has held three meetings in the capitals of the two countries. Issues such as bilateral relations, regional problems, cooperation in the fight against terrorism, nationalist and religious extremism, separatism and organized crime have been discussed," he said.

Razov also said that the Russo-Turk relationship relationship has massive economic potential, noting that the trade volume between the two countries was expected to be around $6 billion this year.

Turkish construction companies are active in Russia, and more and more Russians are coming to Turkey as tourists, according to Razov.

Russia's OIC bid

Razov also said he expected Turkish leaders to support Russia's bid for observer status in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the major gathering of the world's Islamic countries.

Russian President Putin attended the most recent summit of the OIC, which was held in Malaysia, and told Muslim leaders that Russia was ready to mediate between the Islamic and Christian worlds.

Turkish Daily News