Beginning of Russia-Turkiye talks
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: President Erdogan,
Despite the challenges caused by the epidemiological and political restrictions, we still find opportunities to meet and communicate on a regular basis, achieving good results.
I should note that all the agreements reached during your visit to Sochi in August are being implemented. Our colleagues, governments and companies involved in practical action are working to fulfil the plans, including with respect to investment activity and the construction of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant. The work is proceeding according to plan and involves 20,000 people on site. We are meeting the schedule and it looks like we will be able to fulfil the agreements and launch the first energy unit by the centenary of the Republic of Turkiye. Around May 2023, we plan to deliver nuclear fuel, thus completing another stage of this joint project.
As concerns hydrocarbon energy, we deliver our hydrocarbons, including gas, in full and in compliance with your requests. We use transit routes through Turkiye to deliver gas to European countries. Turkiye is currently the most reliable transit country for gas supplies to Europe, thanks to your stance, Mr President, your firm position on the construction of TurkStream. Although, as you may have heard, there were attempts to blow up this gas pipeline on Russian territory. Fortunately, it did not happen and the pipeline continues operation.
At the Russian Energy Week yesterday, after consultations with the Turkish Minister of Energy and CEO of Botas, an agreement was reached with Gazprom. I spoke about this publicly: if Turkiye and potential buyers in other countries are interested, we can consider building another gas pipeline and establishing a gas hub in Turkiye for trade with third countries, first of all European countries, of course, but only if they are interested.
This hub, built by Russia and Turkiye together, would serve as a platform for both supplies and pricing, as pricing is a critical issue these days. The prices today are exorbitant. We would be able to regulate them properly at a market level without any political implications.
We are also working actively in other areas, which is demonstrated by confident growth of trade – both last year and this year. Owing to your efforts, Mr President, we are carrying out a deal on Ukrainian grain exports to foreign markets. I think the recipients of the product should be grateful for this. True, it is unfortunate that the developing, poorest nations are receiving a small portion of it under food programmes but nevertheless, the United Nations is regulating what is available.
In principle, we are implementing all our tentative agreements in other areas.
I am happy to see you again on the sidelines of today’s events.
President of the Republic of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan (retranslated): Mr President, I am also happy to see you again here. Using this opportunity, I would like to once again congratulate you on your 70th birthday and wish you a long life.
Since Sochi, we have met here many times. If you go to Samarkand next time, we will have one more opportunity to meet, in Samarkand.
The development of Ro-Ro cargo shipments and the start of Ro-Pax shipments, primarily in the port of Novorossiysk, will certainly boost our relations.
As you noted, the first unit of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant will open in the first half of next year. It will usher in a new era and this will be very good news for the world. I will repeat that if we make other steps, we will receive a multiplied effect.
As for Turkiye-Russia cooperation, the production of energy by Akkuyu will meet 10 percent of our requirements. If a second nuclear power plant is built, it will cover another 10 percent of our requirements. Overall, these two nuclear power plants will meet 20 percent of our energy requirements.
As for another issue – grain and fertiliser – it is necessary to strengthen the Istanbul agreement and to extend it again through Turkiye to make sure, as you said, that Russian fertilisers are delivered to the world’s poorest countries. We are fully resolved to ensure the delivery of grain and fertiliser to less developed countries.
We can work together because we are more concerned about the poor countries than the wealthy states. This is why we should envisage this and if we do it, we will be able to change much, to change the balance in favour of poor countries.
Turkiye and Russia are together. I am sure our steps will worry some circles and some countries but we are full of resolve. Our relevant bodies, our colleagues will establish contacts and conduct meetings. I am referring to our foreign ministers, as well as ministers of agriculture and energy. Their meetings are important and will strengthen our relations.