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Turkey’s first nuclear plant to be built

Author : Amy Hollamby

17 May 2010

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have signed 17 agreements including pacts to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant. Russia will have a controlling stake in the plant and four reactors, which are likely to cost £13.5bn and to be built over the next seven years on Turkey's Mediterranean coast, in the city of Mersin. However, the reactor suggested for the project, known as Model 1400, has not been given safety approvals by European institutions.

Future co-operation on Russia’s planned South Stream gas pipeline, and plans to build a refinery at the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan were also discussed

Both countries said they wished to improve trade links, lift visa conditions and boost energy projects. Energy cooperation is the core of a rapidly developing partnership between Moscow and Ankara, former cold war rivals who say bilateral trade could reach $100bn in the next five years – half the value of Russia’s trade now with the entire European Union.

Turkey is aiming to reduce its dependence on foreign energy supplies and cover a looming power shortfall. Russia provides 60% of Turkey’s gas needs, which has raised concerns that Turkey is becoming too dependent on Russia, a major trading partner.

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