The Turkish Energy Minister asked regarding the use of establishing a gas distribution platform with Russia that Russian president Vladimir Putin proposed last year.

Turkish Energy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar told reporters, “It seems that everyone doesn’t realize that we already have a gas and electricity exchange site that works well every day, so do we really need another platform?”

Bayraktar, made his statements on Thursday in Ankara, added, “We sell gas to Bulgaria and Hungary, as Türkiye is already a reliable transit country for gas”.

Last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to the Turkish President to create a platform to export gas to Europe and third countries, on the sidelines of a regional summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The next day, the Turkish President confirmed that work would begin without delay on establishing an international distribution center.

Erdogan said that the issue won’t wait and that it’s possible to build a potential exchange center in the Thrace region, northwestern Türkiye on the borders with Bulgaria and Greece.

However, the idea wasn’t well received by the Europeans, who saw it as a way for Türkiye to increase its purchases from Russia while trying to limit their purchases.

Paris said at the time that it makes no sense for us to create a new infrastructure that would allow the import of more Russian gas.

Later the Russian president, corrected his statements by emphasizing that he was thinking more about an e-commerce platform than creating a gas storage site, which is the idea that was ruled out by the Turkish Energy minister statements.

Bayraktar told reports that things have been delayed since Astana due to February 6 earthquake, and then the elections… Let’s say we take a break but we are having discussions”.

Russia supplies gas to Türkiye via the TurkStream pipeline that crosses the Black Sea.

Ankara, which has been able since February 2022 to maintain relations with Moscow as well as with Kiev, still hopes to play the role of mediator between the two parties.

Bayraktar pointed out that Türkiye, which has huge needs for gas, of which 90% is imported, has made efforts to diversify its supplies and imports from ten different countries, naming in particular Algeria, Qatar, and close to Israel.

He added, “I spoke about this with the Israeli Minister of Energy, and President Erdogan will speak with the Israeli Prime Minister”.

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