Turkish, Russian Ministers Discuss Gas Pipeline Projects

Russian Deputy Premier Igor Sechin said they supported all energy projects, including the Nabucco pipeline project, adding that however certain projects needed to prove they were feasible.

Sechin, who is visiting Turkey prior to Russian President Vladimir Putin's upcoming trip, met Tuesday with Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz in Ankara.

Sechin, who spoke to reporters after the meeting, commented on the Nabucco project, the 3,300-kilometer pipeline that will carry Caspian and Central Asian natural gas to Austria in Europe, to reduce EU dependence on Russian gas.

Sechin, whose visit came shortly after the signing of the intergovernmental agreement on Nabucco in Ankara, said it was not their policy to impede others' projects, noting that they gave priority to projects of Gazprom, Russia's national gas company.

The Russian deputy minister said in order for projects to be feasible it was necessary that they depend on defined resources, be technologically well-equipped. He said both buyers and suppliers needed to well calculate costs and prices in projects like these.

Sechin said the trade volume between the two countries was around US $40 billion. He said Russian Customs undersecretary was accompanying him to hold talks with Turkish authorities to further facilitate travel of goods between the two countries.

Yildiz, who also addressed reporters, said their meeting laid the groundwork for the upcoming meeting between premiers of Russia and Turkey. He said they discussed many projects including the "South Stream" and "Blue Stream II" projects.

BBC Monitoring. Copyright BBC.