Ukrainian crisis not a threat to gas supply: Turkish energy minister

Photo: Ukrainian crisis not a threat to gas supply: Turkish energy minister  / Turkey

Turkey doesn't expect the crisis in Ukraine to pose any risks to its energy supply, foreseeing that things will calm down, Energy Minister Taner Yilidiz has said Hurriyet Daily News reported.

"I believe the remarks regarding the normalization [of relations between the two countries] will increase. We don't foresee a new Ukrainian crisis regarding natural gas," Yildiz said March 5.

Russia is Turkey's biggest natural gas supplier and the latter is supplying more than half of its annual 47 billion cubic meters from Russia's energy giant Gazprom. The gas purchased from Russia enters Turkey via two pipelines, one of which is the West Stream pipeline that passes through Ukraine.

Turkey has a 30-year natural gas contract with Russia and 14 billion cubic meters of its needs flows through the West Stream pipeline.

"In the event of the West Stream line being cut, Turkey will be affected. That's very clear. The West Stream is the supply point of both the private and the public sectors. In talks we had with Gazprom, they said they don't see this [suspension of gas flow] possible. I believe we will not have any problems," Yildiz added.

Gazprom, which supplies more than a quarter of Europe's gas needs, has cut exports twice to Ukraine over the past decade amid pricing disputes with Kyiv.

The European Union has accused Gazprom of using gas as a political tool and said it will seek to diversify its sources of supply.

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