Turkey and Russia hope to triple bilateral trade to reach $10 billion within three years, visiting Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said Wednesday. "Bilateral trade volume amounts to some three billion dollars. We plan to bring it up to $10 billion in three years," Kasyanov said after a meeting with leading Turkish businessmen at the end of a three-day visit to Turkey, Anatolia news agency reported.
Bilateral trade at present is in favor of Russia, which is Turkey's main natural gas supplier. During Kasyanov's talks in Ankara on Monday and Tuesday, the two sides agreed to negotiate increased purchases of natural gas and electricity by energy-hungry Turkey and to boost cooperation in the military and defense industry fields.
Turkey and Russia are building a major gas pipeline, dubbed Blue Stream, which will stretch from the southern Russian gas plant of Izobilnoy, across the Black Sea floor, to the Turkish coastal city of Samsun.
The 1,213-kilometre (758-mile) conduit, expected to become operational in autumn 2001, will deliver eight billion cubic meters of gas annually to Turkey. — (AFP, Istanbul)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)