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(DIP) RUSSIA'S PROPOSAL TO BAN OIL TRANSPORTATION THROUGH STRAITS TO BE ON AGENDA OF MEDVEDEV'S VISIT.

MOSCOW, May 6, 2010 (TUR) -- Russia's proposal to clear Turkey's Black Sea straits from oil tankers and transport oil via two pipelines that are under construction, namely Samsun-Ceyhan and Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipelines, will be on the agenda of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Turkey next week.

The idea to clear the Bosphorus and Canakkale Straits, which serve as the boundary between Europe and Asia, and send oil via the Russia-backed Burgas-Alexandroupolis and the Turkish Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipelines, will be discussed by a bilateral inter-governmental commission and the issue will be raised by the presidents of Turkey and Russia on May 11-12, Russian daily Izvestia reported on Thursday.

The daily wrote that Russia believed Black Sea straits were overloaded and it took a long time for ships to pass through them, moreover, the country had proposed that the new pipelines to be used for oil transportation be managed from a single center.

Expressing oil companies' objection to such proposal claiming that oil shipment by sea would be cheaper and tankers could take several blends of oil at a time, the Russian paper said Russia's oil pipeline monopoly Transneft believed that the straits could be used only to ship petroleum products while crude could be supplied via the two pipelines.

"Although both projects seem to be quite different and can be regarded as rival undertakings, the idea of their management from a single center does not look so absurd, if the roles of the pipes are clearly defined," Izvestia said.

"Moreover, the Turkish pipeline will run to Ceyhan, which Turkey has pledged to make almost the most powerful oil port in the world," the paper also said.

On the other hand, Kremlin's press office also confirmed Russian President Medvedev's formal visit to Turkey scheduled for May 11-12.

"The first meeting of a new mechanism of interstate consultations, the Council of cooperation of the highest level headed by Medvedev and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is the central event of the Russian-Turkish summit," Kremlin said in a statement on Thursday.

Russia was Turkey's leading commercial partner in 2009, with a 38 billion USD trade volume according to the Turkish capital of Ankara and a 33.8 billion USD volume as reported by the Russian capital.

Turkey is currently Russia's 5th biggest partner in trade.

The two countries aim at increasing their bilateral trade volume to 100 billion USD in the next 5 years.

According to official data, investments by Turkish businessmen in Russia have reached 6 billion USD, while Russian entrepreneurs' investments in Turkey amount to nearly 4 billion USD.

(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
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Publication:Anadolu (Eskisehir, Turkey)
Date:May 6, 2010
Words:431
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