Russia’s double-dealing with Turkey

Oil&Gas Materials 9 May 2015 13:16 (UTC +04:00)
There was no doubt that sooner or later Russia will have to correct its strategic mistake towards Ankara.
Russia’s double-dealing with Turkey

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 9

By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

There was no doubt that sooner or later Russia will have to correct its strategic mistake towards Ankara.

As soon as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reminded in Moscow that, if necessary, Turkey can recall its ambassador from Russia, Russia recalled its energy projects, in particular, the Turkish Stream project.

President Erdogan said that Ankara can reconsider its relations with Moscow after the Russian president's visit to Yerevan to participate in the events on the so-called Armenian genocide.

"We have a lot in common with Russia," the president said. "But Moscow and the whole world must understand that the issue of the so-called Armenian genocide has special importance for us."

Earlier, Gazprom made a discount to the Turkish private companies supplying gas to the country.

Today Gazprom has said that the company and Turkish Botas reached a preliminary agreement to grant discounts for Russian gas and it will become official in the near future.

The Turkish state pipeline company Botas expected Russia to make a 15-percent reasonable discount for Ankara for the gas supplied to the country. But Gazprom agreed to make a discount only to the Turkish private companies.

Over a third of Russian gas imports account for those private companies. The gas discount for the Turkish private sector will be about 25 percent in the first quarter, plus 15 percent - in the second quarter of this year. As a result, the Russian gas will cost the Turkish private companies approximately $260 per 1,000 cubic meters in May.

The Turkish authorities considered Gazprom's discount to the private companies as an attempt to exert pressure on Ankara.

Russia emphasized that it is ready to make concessions on gas prices only on one condition - Ankara in turn must make concessions on the Turkish Stream implementation.

While playing both sides against the middle and trying to pressure Ankara using the private sector, Erdogan's policy, in fact, proved to be more effective.

Therefore, we can say that the Turkish authorities will achieve discounts for Botas. At the same time, in response to Russia's policy, Ankara will not make any concessions in the Turkish Stream implementation.

Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu