Russia and Turkey sign major trade deals

Putin says South Stream gas pipeline to EU scrapped and names Turkey as partner for alternative project..

The leaders of Russia and Turkey have signed a series of major trade and energy deals in the Turkish capital amid differences over the crises in Syria and Ukraine as Moscow copes with Western sanctions.

Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, said at a news conference in Ankara that Russia would reduce the gas price for Turkey by six percent, starting next year, and agreed to supply it with an additional three billion cubic metres.

Putin also announced Moscow was scrapping the South Stream natural gas pipeline project - that would avoid Ukrainian territory to deliver Russian gas to Europe - because of the European Union's opposition to it.

"Taking into account the fact that until now we have not received permission from Bulgaria, we believe that in the current conditions Russia cannot continue with the realisation of this project," Putin said.

Russia might cooperate with Turkey on building a gas hub for southern Europe instead, Putin said.

Turkey and Russia have set an aim of increasing their two-way trade volume from $33bn to $100bn by 2020.

Russia provides the bulk of Turkey's gas and is set to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant. Turkish construction firms are active in Russia while millions of Russian tourists travel to Turkey each year.

Source: Agencies

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