Turkey’s decision could cut off Black Sea countries like Ukraine from LNG tankers
Turkey announced that it will not allow the passage of tankers with liquefied natural gas (LNG) across the Bosporus Strait for fuel supplies to Ukraine, Turkish Ambassador to Kiev Yonet Can Tezel said in an interview Friday. The Bosporus Strait is the only waterway connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara and on to the Mediterranean, meaning no LNG tankers will be able to enter or leave the Black Sea.
The Ambassador said Turkey’s position was based exclusively on the aspect of maritime shipment safety as the passage of tankers with hazardous cargoes posed a threat to residents of Istanbul, which is divided by the Bosporus Strait, reports Russian news agency TASS.
“The passage of LNG tankers through the Bosporus is a problematic issue,” said the Turkish Ambassador. “First of all, this relates to safety in the strait which is quite busy and narrow. Istanbul is a densely populated city while LNG tankers are considerably larger than oil tankers. In case of incidents, and such things happen with oil tankers, the consequences for the population and Istanbul would be disastrous.”
The decision has nothing to do with the country requesting passage or the international situation with Ukraine and Russia, the Ambassador said. “We would have replied in the same way to any other Black Sea neighbor, which would have turned to us with a request for the passage of LNG-tankers across the Bosporus,” he said.
Ukrainian Deputy Energy and Coal Minister Svetelik said on Friday Ukraine planned to build an LNG terminal worth €846 million ($923.87 million) for receiving LNG supplies. Svetelik also believes that the construction of a gas pipeline to connect the LNG terminal with the country’s gas transportation system would cost €113 million ($123.40 million).
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