Russia-Turkey Relations Will Have Positive Impact On Karabakh, Says


10/russia-turkey-relations-will-have-positive-impa ct-on-karabakh-says-davutoglu/
Aug 10, 2009

ANKARA (Combined Sources)-The strengthening of relations between
Russia and Turkey will have a positive impact of the resolution of
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet
Davutoglu in a television interview over the weekend.

During his visit to Turkey last week, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir
Putin said active steps were being taken to resolve the Karabakh

"Serious work is being done to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
and there is serious progress in this regard. Moscow is eager to see
quick resolution of the conflict," Putin added.

Davutoglu praised what he called positive steps taken by Russia in
the conflict resolution process.

During his visit to Turkey, Putin signed several energy agreements,
including an agreement to ensure Turkey’s participation in a planned
Russian oil and gas pipeline, known as the South Stream, which is
designed to rival the Western-backed Nabucco pipeline.

Turkey is also participating in the construction of the Nabucco
pipeline, which is a US and European venture, sidestepping Russia, to
ensure the flow Caspian natural resources to the West. Both proposed
projects side-step Armenia.

While on a weekend visit to his hometown of Konya, Davutoglu was
asked whether two major pipeline projects in which Turkey will play
an integral role, Nabucco and South Stream, were rivals.

"No. As we stressed several times before, we do not see such strategic
projects as rivaling each other but instead as complementary to
one another. We look at all developments in the fields of energy,
transportation, economy and trade with different perspectives,"
Davutoðlu was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency in response.

Earlier, Turkish officials and experts underlined that the natural gas
deals inked last week by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan
and Putin will help make Turkey a regional energy hub but will not
change its commitment to the Western-backed Nabucco pipeline project.

"Turkey’s course and priorities have not changed," said a senior
Turkish official on Friday, responding to suspicions likely to arise
in the wake of Thursday’s deal, under which Turkey has allowed Russia
to carry out feasibility studies in its exclusive territorial waters
in the Black Sea for construction of the South Stream pipeline.

Russia’s South Stream pipeline rivals Nabucco, which has the backing
of the EU and the United States and would provide Europe a supply of
gas not subject to Russian control.

Furthermore, Davutoglu stressed that Turkey is not a place for
rival projects but complementary ones, while noting that Turkey will
serve as a secure energy route, strengthening both regional economic
integration and global economic structure. "Any cooperation with the
European Union and the Nabucco project, which connects the European
Union and Turkey, is a strategic priority for Turkey. It should
be assessed as a whole. The Nabucco project that we signed in July
demonstrated Turkey’s central importance for energy suppliers and
energy consumers between the East and West," Davutoglu said.

He then continued saying that in line with agreements with Russia, the
South Stream and the Samsun-Ceyhan energy routes illustrate Turkey’s
integral role, connecting the East and West. "Being the intersection
of the East-West and North-South energy corridor is a natural result
of Turkey’s geography," Davutoglu concluded.

"Turkey will enhance its increasing role in world economic politics,
participating in both transportation and trade in the East-West and
North-South energy routes for years," he said.