Russia is a reliable and cost-effective supplier for Turkey, in comparison with the prices offered by others. Turkey, in its turn, is an important consumer for Russia. The Turkish Stream project has its spot in the agenda and unites the interests of both states.
Last year, Turkey imported 49 billion cubic meters of gas, 42 billion of them (or 85%) were supplied by Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan. The lion's share of the volume, or 27 billion cubic meters (64%), 55% of overall imports, belonged to Russia. Russian gas is more costly than Azerbaijani but cheaper than Iranian. 4 billion cubic meters of gas are supplied according to a 1998 deal with a 23-year term, 16 billion according to a 1997 deal with a 28-year term. Turkey has no other gas pipeline capable of substituting such volume of natural gas. Other suppliers cannot replace Russian gas either due to the lack of the necessary infrastructure.
Additional export of 6 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas a year via the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), the construction of which began this year as an alternative to Russian gas supplies, will be available in 2019 at best. Therefore, the only short-term way for Turkey to substitute Russian gas is exports of liquefied gas from such countries as Qatar, Nigeria, Egypt. It stands to mention that the volumes and the terminals needed to replace Russian gas are limited. Even if the volumes were available, the liquefying process would drive the gas prices up beyond the cost for transporting it through a pipeline from Russia. Thus, near- or mid-term substitution of Russian gas, even if it would be executable in the future, should be regarded as an extravagant alternative in light of the needed investments.
Russia is a reliable and cost-effective supplier for Turkey, in comparison with the prices offered by others. Turkey, in its turn, is an important consumer for Russia. The Turkish Stream project has its spot in the agenda and unites the interests of both states. Economic interests of the two Eurasian states require strategic cooperation, because establishing good ties swiftly is beneficial for both parties. The Turkish Stream will allow Russia to replace the Ukrainian gas pipeline and connect to Europe without any obstacles created by the EU laws on competition. In addition, it will meet Turkey's rapidly growing domestic demand and give it a strategic position in European energy security. In terms of the dynamic of Turkey's gas demands since 2000, despite a minor slide in 2014, the average annual growth has totaled 8%. Interference of external forces trying to hinder the cooperation by impeding realization of energy projects between Turkey and Russia – which are advantageous within the framework of long-term economic and strategic interests of the two states throughout the period of rapid rise of the demand for natural gas as a relatively cheap, reliable and eco-friendly fuel in Turkey and European states – should be prevented. Interests of Turkey and Russia coincide in combating terrorism just as in the energy sector, there are no serious and logical reasons for tensions in the relations between the two states. It is important to propel development of a constructive dialogue by organizing platforms for collaboration between specialists of the two countries.