Azerbaijan, Baku, March 27 / Trend A.Taghiyeva /
If the Turkish company Çalık Holding is unable to find another partner besides the Italian company Eni, Turkey may freeze the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline project, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz said in an interview with CNN Türk TV channel on Wednesday.
"The Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline project is important for Turkey, but the country's political principles are above all. Therefore, we may freeze the project," Yildiz said.
When asked whether the refusal will harm the Turkish economy, Yildiz said the country has many other alternatives for oil supplies.
Yildiz also expressed confidence that the Russian energy companies will not cooperate with Cyprus in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, as they know that this cooperation could harm their projects in Turkey.
"Turkey will include all the companies that will cooperate in the energy sector with Cyprus in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea on to the 'black list'. Russian companies, being aware of this practice will not agree to such cooperation with Nicosia," Yildiz said.
Today Turkey stated that it stopped working with the Italian Eni Company because of its partnership with Cyprus in the field of hydrocarbon exploration in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. In particular, the company will be excluded from participation in the construction of the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline in which Eni cooperates with Turkey's Çalık Holding.
Construction of the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline is planned in Turkey between the Black Sea coast in the region of Samsun and the Mediterranean coast in Ceyhan. It will enable the transportation of crude from Russia and Kazakhstan bypassing the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits.
Earlier Ankara repeatedly warned Eni over the possibility of stopping cooperation with it if it does not put a hold on the work with Cyprus in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.
Ankara believes that holding such operations in a special economic zone is contrary to international law.
After Nicosia started developing the shelf off the coast of the island divided into Greek and Turkish sectors in September 2011, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara along with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will begin exploring oil and gas in a special economic zone of Northern Cyprus.
Turkey has repeatedly expressed its categorical protest against such operations, demanding the cancelation of plans to develop hydrocarbons by Cyprus.
Ankara does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus, maintaining relations only with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. A corps of Turkish troops has been there since 1974.