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Sunday, December 6, 2015, 13:44

Turkey will find alternative energy suppliers: President

By Xinhua
Turkey will find alternative energy suppliers: President
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech at the COP 21 United Nations conference on climate change, on November 30, 2015 at Le Bourget, on the outskirts of the French capital Paris. (Photo / AFP)

ISTANBUL -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey will find alternatives to Russian energy, as tensions remain high over Ankara's downing of a Russian warplane.

"Russia is Turkey's biggest natural gas supplier but it is not the only one," Erdogan said while addressing the Turkey Innovation Week in Istanbul.

Turkey is heavily dependent on foreign oil and natural gas, importing 98 percent of its natural gas from Russia and Iran and 90 percent of oil demand from Iraq.

"It is possible to find different suppliers," Erdogan said, referring to Qatar and Azerbaijan.

Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited Qatar and Azerbaijan respectively this week to reach agreements on importing liquefied natural gas from Qatar and expediting the construction of a natural gas pipeline that carries Azerbaijan's gas in the Caspian Sea to Turkey and Europe.

Relations between Moscow and Ankara have plunged into a crisis since Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on Syrian border on Nov.  24.

Russia has slapped a set of sanctions on Turkey in response to its refusal to make any apology for the downing incident, but stopped short of cutting off gas supply to Turkey.

Early reports said that Moscow has halted talks on the joint Turkish Stream pipeline project, which was agreed upon in December 2014 to pump gas to Turkey and Europe via the Black Sea.

In his televised speech, Erdogan referred to media reports over the suspension of the project, saying "It is in fact Turkey that suspended the project a while ago as Russia didn't fulfill Turkey' s requirements."

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