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Russian-Turkey pipeline talks at standstill: Transneft

Russian pipeline talks with Turkey are at a standstill on plans to build a new oil duct from the Black Sea port of Samsun to Ceyhan on the Mediterranean, Russian pipeline firm Transneft said Friday.

The Russian pipeline monopoly said its latest round of talks had seen “zero” results.

“A proposal has come (from Turkey) to sign a bilateral agreement, in which there is a crude attempt to drive us into an unfavorable economic framework,” Transneft chief executive Nikolai Tokarev was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

“Of course we will not agree to this so we are back to zero for a new round of talks,” he said.

Moscow and Ankara agreed in August 2009 to the planned joint oil pipeline, which was to carry 60-70 million tonnes of crude per year through central Turkey as an alternative to energy supplies shipped across the Bosporus.

Russia is one of Turkey’s top trading partners and its main gas supplier, accounting for about 60 percent of the country’s gas imports.