Austria's Baumgarten natural gas hub is a good example for Turkey to see how to use Russian gas besides earning transit money, said Konstantin Simonov, director of Russia National Energy Security Fund on Thursday.
The Turkish-Russian Energy Experts Roundtable meeting started on Thursday in Istanbul for discussions on energy cooperation specifically in the field of natural gas.
The meeting, hosted by Anadolu Agency in cooperation with Russian news Agency TASS, started with a session entitled TurkStream in Turkey’s Gas Future moderated by deputy editor of AA Energy News, Baris Saglam.
Speaking at the session, Simonov said that there are important projects such as TANAP, TAP and TurkStream in the region.
He said that maybe in the future it will be possible to think transiting Iranian gas.
"Turkey won't only earn transit money from [The State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic] SOCAR and [Russian] Gazprom. It also wants to be a pricing hub for Balkans area," Simonov stressed.
He said that if there will be a real hub for Balkans, liberalization is very important.
"The finalization of gas market's structure is also very important. You can see the situation in Austria in Baumgarten. Only with the help of Russian gas this hub was built. Baumgarten is very important for our transit supply to Italy. We see an increasing role of Austria and Baumgarten. It's a good example of how to use Russian gas besides earning transit money," he noted.
Simonov said that Russia is not afraid of competition in the region.
"10 billion cubic meter of gas from Azerbaijan is not a real challenge for Gazprom. We have good price, good amount and new infrastructure. We are ready for this. We only ask for real competition, not political issues. They say Russia is using gas as political pressure weapon. But they don't say that there is a lot of pressure on Russia from Europe. We don't ask for some exemption from 3rd energy package and EU laws. We want to see an honest implementation of this law. If there is honest implementation, there won't be any problem for us," he stressed.
Vitaliy Yermakov, head of the Center for Energy Policy Research at the Higher School of Economics also spoke at the session and said that the TurkStream gas will arrive on time.
He said that Bulgaria and Hungary are very worried about this.
"Turkey doesn't have to worry about what's going to happen about gas supply. The gas will be there. TurkStream project is actually a good example for the global gas market," he said.
Yermakov noted that there are no delays and budget overruns for TurkStream.
He said that some of the long-term gas contracts in Turkey would expire in mid-2020s and Turkey should accelerate work in this regard.
By Murat Temizer