Russia-Turkey to normalize through Energy industry

In June 2015, Russian and Turkish governments “noted an overall positive trend” and “confirmed their intention to work towards the strategic goal of reaching USD 100 billion in mutual trade.” After a Russian jet fighter has been shot down by Turkish Air Force near the Turkish-Syrian border in November 2015, Russian-Turkish trade fell by 26% in 2015 and by 43% just in the first five months of 2016. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s official visit to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg on August 9, 2016 started the process of mending bilateral ties.

Erdogan’s decision to complete large-scale projects such as the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant and the Turkish Stream pipeline system embodied political willingness to restore Russian-Turkish economic ties to “their rightful level.” As Turkey buys around 25/29 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia per year, the Turkish Stream has become more important for Russia after its South Stream project was discontinued on European Parliament’s objections.

That’s why, Putin said, the Turkish Stream is “beyond any doubt” and will be implementedvery soon.” Erdogan stressed on the fact that both countries “will take the necessary steps to ensure Russian gas supplies to Europe via this gas pipeline.” Despite having different interests on the geopolitical scene, Russia needs Turkey with a view to supplying more gas to Europe and Turkey needs Russia from where it imports 55% of its natural gas and 30% of its oil.