May 25/09. MOSCOW — Russia intends
to become the leader of Turkey's program to generate electricity from
Officials said the Kremlin has
lobbied for an award for a Russian-led consortium, the only competitor in
Turkey's nuclear power tender. Russia's Atomstroyexport has led
Turkish and Russian partners in the bid to construct a nuclear energy
reactor along the Black Sea coast.
"We are speaking about possible
participation of our companies in building four large [nuclear] units,"
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.
Moscow has also offered to sell
missile defense systems and attack helicopters to Turkey. Russia has
presented its S-400 missile defense system, touted as superior to the
Putin discussed Ankara's nuclear
energy tender during his meeting with Prime Minister Recep Erdogan on May
16. Putin said Turkey's nuclear program marked a major component of Moscow's
relations with Ankara.
During the talks, Erdogan and Putin
were also said to have agreed to expand other energy projects. Putin said
Ankara and Moscow would hold talks to extend a natural gas supply contract
scheduled to expire in 2011.
Under the Blue Stream pipeline
project, Turkey received 23.8 billion cubic meters of gas from Russian and
Central Asian suppliers in 2008. Officials said the gas flow would
significantly increase over the next year.