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Turkey-Russia JEC Meeting held in Antalya

Source : Agencies | 20 Apr 2013

Turkey-Russia Joint Economic Committee (JEC) 12th Term Meeting was held in the southern province of Antalya on Saturday with the participation of Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Sources Taner Yildiz and Russian Minister of Energy Aleksandr Novak.

Speaking to reporters during a portion of the meeting that was opened to the press corps, Taner Yildiz stressed that there was potential to increase the trade volume of 34 billion USD with Russia.

We believe Turkey and Russia can reach a trade volume of 100 billion USD as set forth by our leaders, Yildiz underlined.

We have discussed many issues with my "friend" Novak and his team on Saturday, Yildiz noted.

"Many sectors were handled in this meeting. We touched on all matters which support our economic and strategic cooperation from energy to transportation and from agriculture to industry. Around 1,500 Russian companies now operate in Turkey. Turkish contractors are involved in projects in Russia which are worth 50 billion USD," Yildiz said.

"Turkish agricultural products will begin to be sent to Russia again via Georgia," Yildiz stated.

"While fresh fruits and vegetables get exported to Russia, we will begin exporting milk and milk products to Russia," Yildiz noted.

I believe that Turkish-Russian cooperation could continue in third countries, Yildiz stated.

Russian Energy Minister Novak, in his part, said that today's meeting was not only attended by public officials but by representatives of the private sector.

We discussed today various issues including the metallurgy factory in Turkey, transfer of natural gas safely and reducing the tariff on international roaming, Novak stressed.

Following the brief speeches, Yildiz and Novak signed the JEC protocol. Representatives of Turkish and Russian companies signed various agreements among themselves.

"I ate Turkish strawberry in Sochi"

Following the signature ceremony, the ministers received questions from the press.

Reminded of 18 tonnes of Turkish strawberries which were not permitted to enter Russia several days ago due to health reasons, Novak replied that hundreds of tonnes of Turkish strawberries entered Russia.

“I do not think that not letting a small amount of strawberries is a big incident,” Novak said.

"I can assure you that everything's fine as far as strawberry sales to Russia from Turkey. I was in Sochi yesterday and I ate Turkish strawberry there," Novak indicated.

Asked by a journalist why Turkey could not purchase natural gas from Russia with the lowest price since Russia was Turkey's biggest supplier of energy, Novak stated that "the price of natural gas is determined by international markets. Federal administrations or governments do not determine the price of natural gas".

Answering the same question, Taner Yildiz underlined that "while the demand for natural gas in Europe is declining, the demand for natural gas in Turkey was stable. We all wish that we could buy such energy sources with more appropriate prices."