Commenting on Turkey's state-run gas importer Botaş's decision to seek international arbitration over a dispute on natural gas prices, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Ali Rıza Alaboyun said Turkey views a statement by Russian authorities claiming that the issue can be handled without arbitration as a positive sign, but that they have not yet made a formal request to Turkey regarding the matter. Alaboyun added that Turkey will definitely win the arbitration and obtain additional price discounts on natural gas. Turkey was promised a 10.25 percent discount on the natural gas it imports from Russia at the beginning of the year; however, according to Alaboyun's statements, Russia did not respond to Turkey's request to sign an official agreement.
Alaboyun stated that Turkey will respond to Russia's demand to ink an agreement over the agreed 10.25 percent discount, adding that Botaş has determined an arbitrator and informed Russia about its decision. He also noted that the Turkish Stream Project, which Russia proposed last year to carry Russian natural gas to Turkey and Europe via the Turkish-Greek border, will bring 15.75 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Turkey while the Western Line will bring 14 billion cubic meters of natural gas to the country. Parliament must pass an intergovernmental agreement to close this capacity gap, he added. Alaboyun underlined that the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) victory in the Nov. 1 elections will help settle the uncertainty about the Turkish Stream project.