Baku, Azerbaijan, July 1
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
The first week of July will be critical for Ankara and Moscow. Ankara may apply to the Court of Arbitration if Russian Gazprom company does not disclose the final discount for Botas next week, the Turkish state pipeline company Botas told Trend earlier.
The agreement between Ankara and Moscow was to be signed in March 2015, but Botas refused to sign the agreement because of national interests.
The reason for refusing to sign the agreement on Russian gas was that Russia puts its interests ahead of Turkish ones. Turkey considers the Turkish Stream construction project a risky one, Botas told Trend earlier. Even earlier Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz has repeatedly said that the Turkish Stream project is risky despite its advantages.
In fact, if this project had been vital for Ankara, the Turkish authorities would have found a way to persuade Moscow to have Botas's participate in this project.
Although the Russian media reported that Turkey has given permission for the Turkish Stream construction, it is wrong.
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said in one of his recent statements that only permission to conduct engineering research on marine areas of the Turkish Stream is the case, until Turkey gives permission for construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline.
The document provides research on the first line of the gas pipeline on the land area and the territorial waters of Turkey.
In addition, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak recently pointed out that Russia and Turkey plan to agree on the text of the intergovernmental agreement on the Turkish Stream gas pipeline by late June.
At the same time, Novak somehow forgot that the Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu gave his resignation and the resignation of the government to President Erdogan on June 9, i.e. two days after the parliamentary election.
Erdogan accepted the resignation of the government of the country and instructed the prime minister to stay until the creation of a new government. This shows that at this point, the government of Turkey is a mere formality and that the signing of an intergovernmental agreement with any country, including Russia, is out of question.
In addition, the Turks will not agree to such a mistake by signing an agreement to build the Turkish Stream not taking into account their interests, i.e. discount for Russian gas.
Undoubtedly, the new Turkish government will not make concessions to Russia on this issue either. Given Turkey's growing demand for natural gas, the discount for Russian gas is very important for Ankara.
Moreover, if the new Turkish government signs the intergovernmental agreement without taking into account the country's interests, this will lead to the energy crisis sooner or later.
Turkey's political elite is well aware that gas is a tool of pressure for Russia.
Russia reminded Turkey of that in March. Turkey's BOTAS Petroleum Pipeline Corporation expected that Russia would make a 15 percent discount acceptable for Ankara for the gas supplied to Turkey. However, Gazprom agreed to offer a discount only for private Turkish companies which account for over a third of Russian gas import.
This step taken by Russia was nothing but an attempt to put pressure on Turkey though the private sector. Thereby, Russia showed that it is ready to make concessions on gas prices only under one condition: Ankara for its part should make concessions in the implementation of the Turkish Stream project- that is unlikely.
Edited by CN
Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu