How do you assess the results of the Istanbul summit?
The meeting of the Presidents of Russia and Turkey, Putin and Erdogan, was very successful. Two lines of the pipeline will be built as a result of agreements on the Turkish Stream. At the same time, Turkey had requested a gas discount. As a result, an agreement on a gas price for Turkey was reached, and, apparently, this discount is commercially viable for both Russia and Turkey. If the Turkish Stream is built fast enough, Turkey will become an important gas transit country for Russian gas to Europe. In addition, Turkey will export Azerbaijani gas to Europe, thus it will become a gas hub for the southern part of the European Union. It strengthens Turkey's position in the negotiations with the EU on various issues.
What is Azerbaijan's role in reaching agreements between Moscow and Ankara?
The trilateral Russian-Azerbaijani-Turkish negotiations are necessary in order to maximize profits from gas sales to the EU for Russia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. The European Union wants the Russian and Azerbaijani gas to compete with each other. The EU hopes to reduce prices of the Russian and Azerbaijani gas at the expense of such competition, to achieve that the EU profit grows, while the Russian and Azerbaijani profits decline. At the same time, Russia and Azerbaijan are interested in maximizing profit, maximizing gas prices, but this requires a cooperation, something like a gas cartel for sale in the EU. And a transit country - Turkey - could be part of such an agreement to maximize the price of the Russian and Azerbaijani gas to the European Union.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said he hoped that the project company for the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Turkey with the participation of the Russian Federation will get a strategic investor status in the near future. What are the prospects for cooperation in the nuclear sphere?
- The agreement on the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant is of great importance. In economic terms it is even more important than the Turkish Stream. It includes greater resources and more strategic relations. According to this agreement, Russia is building a cascade of nuclear power plants, and in addition to the construction of the nuclear power plant Russia will help Turkey to start creating its own nuclear industry. Hundreds of Turkish specialists will be prepared, and part of the production of nuclear power plants will be developed by Russian specialists directly on the Turkish territory, together with the Turkish business. This means that Russia is helping Turkey to create a high-tech nuclear industry from scratch, which will be closely integrated with the Russian nuclear industry. And this, incidentally, creates good preconditions for the future Turkey's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union.
It was stated that the supply of Turkish fruits and vegetables to Russia will be resumed. How important is the cooperation in the field of agriculture?
Turkey asked to lift the sanctions and to return Turkish agricultural products to the Russian market. It will be fully done. But it will be not even return to the previous cooperation in the agricultural sector, but the development of this cooperation. Turkey will consider Russia's proposals for greater access for Russian agricultural products to the Turkish market. This is primarily the poultry and wheat production, as well as other agricultural products. Russia is gradually being revived as a great agricultural power, and it needs access to the Turkish market.
What would you highlight in the political sphere?
There were negotiations on the Syrian conflict, how to reach a compromise. But we know nothing yet about its outcomes. Surely there were talks about the actions of the US agents against the leaders of the two countries. It is known that the military coup in Turkey was prepared in close cooperation with US intelligence agencies, which were one of the forces that tried to overthrow President Erdogan. He knows about it. Russian security services helped him to find out about the situation in advance. Many believe that the Russian intelligence helped to save President Erdogan's life. Anyway, I think that the talk about strengthening the security of Russia and Turkey and the protection from the US attacks took place.