At a press conference after meeting with Turkish President Recep Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Ankara and Moscow were still in disagreement about how the gas price should be determined.
Putin explained that Russia determines the gas price on the basis of market conditions. “The prices of energy carriers are not determined at Gazprom’s wish, but by the market. Gazprom does not dictate them. There is a problem: our Turkish friends insist on one set of formulas; on commercial grounds Gazprom proposes other solutions. But they will still be found, these solutions, we will find them,” the president commented. He emphasized that cooperation would continue, because Russia “values the Turkish market”.
The Russian president stressed that in Russia’s gas shipments to Turkey, price is not the only significant factor, but also the stability of the partnership. “Turkey has many suppliers in the gas sector, and far from all of them meet their contractual obligations, but Russia meets them, with respect to both volumes and prices, and operates on the basis of long-term contracts. This, notwithstanding certain price indicators, creates the basic conditions for the Turkish economy to develop. Because business understands how it will live, and is confident in these shipments,” Putin continued. He noted that Russia supplies more gas in winter and autumn, when the demand in Turkey increases due to the cold.
Putin also mentioned the collaboration between the two countries in the area of military technology, including the contract to sell Turkey an S-400 “Triumph” aerial defense system. “We also spoke about other current and prospective projects as part of the military technology collaboration,” he added. He did not rule out the possibility that Russia would sell Turkey other modern weapons.
The Russian president also touched on the matter of de-escalation in Syria’s Idlib province, where most of the remaining terrorist forces in the country are concentrated. “I think that joint efforts will help to normalize the situation within and around the de-escalation zone, and will ultimately lead to the neutralization of the terrorist hotbed,” he remarked.
Putin also said that he and Erdogan had agreed to work together to expedite the launch of Syria’s Constitutional Committee.