Russian gas giant Gazprom said its massive pipeline project with Turkey would be delayed amid rising tensions between Moscow and Ankara over Russia’s intervention in the Syrian conflict.
“Given that there is no intergovernmental agreement, the timeframe will be postponed,” Gazprom deputy chief executive Alexander Medvedev told reporters in Moscow October 7, referring to a deadline next year for building the first of four pipelines.
“How long it is postponed for depends on when the agreement gets signed. If the deadline is pushed back by a year, that won’t be a tragedy,” he said, adding that political tensions were not a factor.
Russia has enraged Ankara by launching air strikes against Islamic State and other targets in Syria, in a move Turkish leaders called a “grave mistake.”
Russian warplanes twice violated Turkey’s airspace this week, prompting an outcry from the NATO member.
Before the bombing campaign, Russia and Turkey had agreed last month that work on the TurkStream project would continue in spite of difficulties and disagreements over the price of Russian gas imports.