Erdogan piles on threats to Russian energy investments
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has launched a barrage of threats against Russia, mentioning to sources cited in Simerini that he may freeze 'Turkish Stream' pipeline plans, and telling a journalist from Turkey’s Hurriyet that Russia cannot miss out on the financial gains from the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant.
“If the Russians don’t build [the nuclear plant] in Mersin Akkuyu, than others will come,” Erdogan said, when asked about a trip to Japan and how this might affect Russia’s construction of the plant now that relations are tense between the two countries.
The Turkish president said that the Russians have already invested 3 billion dollars on the project, which means they need to be careful, Hurriyet daily news reported.
The nuclear plant at Akkuyu is a plan worth about €19 billion ($21 billion). The plant is being built by Russia, according to a plan from the two governments, and should be up and running by 2020.
Russia is also weighing its options in the natural gas sector, as Turkey currently imports 50 per cent of its gas from the country.
Erdogan said that Turkey is the prime importer of Russian gas and its loss as a customer would be big for Russia. He warned that Turkey could look to other countries to receive its natural gas.
“We are outraged that Russia is acting in a way that could cause harm,” Erdogan said with regards to Russian financial interest in Turkey.