Turkey not to reject gas pipelines amid Cyprus's EU presidency

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 30 /Trend, A.Tagiyeva/

Turkey's position against Cyprus's presidency to the EU would not affect the realization of projects on construction of gas pipelines via its territory to Europe, experts say.

The implementation of gas projects does not depend on Turkey's position on Cyprus's presidency to the EU, since a possible freezing of negotiations with the EU, as country's officials said, affects only the question of Ankara's accession to the EU, said an analyst at the International Research Center of Turkey (USAK) Hasan Selim Ozertem.

"The severance of relations between Turkey and the EU in the energy sector does not meet the interests of both sides, so that Ankara's position on Cyprus's EU presidency is not directed against the implementation of gas projects," Ozertem told Trend by telephone from Istanbul on Friday.

Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Bulent Arinc said in an interview to Euronews that as soon as Cyprus takes presidency to EU, the negotiations will be frozen. Earlier, the Turkish authorities have repeatedly stated their intention to freeze relations with the EU if Cyprus assumes the EU presidency in July 2012.

According to the adviser of Turkish Prime Minister on Eurasia Geybulla Ramazanoglu, the statements by the Turkish authorities to suspend negotiations with the EU in case of Cyprus's presidency - this is a message to the EU that the EU might lose a partner in the region.

"Turkey is an important partner of EU in the region. Therefore, the authorities warned in advance about the possible consequences of Cyprus's presidency to the EU," Ramazanoglu told Trend over telephone.

However, Prime Minister's adviser also stressed that Turkey's position would not affect the implementation of gas projects because these projects are based on previously signed contracts, and in case of problems in their implementation, both parties will be held accountable.

"Turkey's protest against Cyprus's presidency to the EU is not against the implementation of gas projects and will have no impact on the region's economy," he said.

Turkey is a major player in the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor, which is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It will diversify energy supply routes and resources, and increase EU energy security. The Southern Corridor includes the Nabucco gas pipeline, Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), White Stream, and Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline (ITGI).

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