Turkey's energy minister announced earlier this month that the state-owned gas company BOTAS would not renew a gas deal with Gazprom when it expires in December due to a pricing dispute. In an email interview, Hasan Selim Ozertem, a researcher at Turkey's International Strategic Research Organization, discussed Turkey-Russia energy relations.
WPR: What is the nature of Turkey and Russia's energy relationship, including gas and nuclear energy?
Hasan Selim Ozertem: Russia is Turkey's main energy supplier, with their energy relationship dating back to the Cold War period. In the post-Soviet era, relations have been positive, particularly in the area of natural gas. After signing agreements in the 1990s, Russia became Turkey's primary natural gas supplier with a 60 percent share. Russia has been a reliable partner, supplying extra gas when needed. In contrast, supplies from Iran have at times been cut, particularly in the winter, due to technical and political problems.