In early December, Turkey nationalized Akfel Holding, which is the largest private importer of gas to Turkey, but among the shareholders are Gazprom and Gazprombank. On December 2, the Turkish authorities replaced the board of directors of the company due to suspected relations with Fethullah Gulen. It was only a few days before the visit of the Turkish Prime Minister in Moscow and official restoration work on a number of joint projects.
The change in leadership of the company was under government decree, issued after the attempted coup in July. Then relations between Russia and Turkey were still strained.
The actions of the Turkish authorities were painful to Gazprom and the head of the company Alexey Miller raised the issue during a visit Binali Yildirim in Moscow.
Akfel Gas buys about 2.25 billion cbm of natural gas a year from Gazprom, which represents 55% of the deliveries of Russian giant to private traders in Turkey. According to sources the income of the Turkish gas company are estimated at between 400 and 500 million USD per year, but Akfel did not publicly distribute information about their financial condition.
According to the schedule, Akfel and Gazprom has to negotiate the price of gas for 2017. In fact, however, the talks were discontinued. Gazprom and Turkish Botas even argue about the price of natural gas in the arbitration court in Stockholm.
Both cases might affect the commercial and trade partnership between Russia and Turkey, which additionally were worsen after killing the Russian ambassador in Ankara yesterday.
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