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Russia Suspends Talks With Turkey On TurkStream Pipeline

Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak says Moscow has suspended talks with Turkey on the TurkStream natural-gas pipeline project because of the downing of a Russian warplane by a Turkish jet last month.

Novak said in Moscow on December 3 that sanctions announced by the Kremlin have shut down "an intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation" that included talks on the pipeline project.

The TurkStream project would see four pipelines carrying Russian natural gas under the Black Sea that would link southern Russia to western Turkey.

That would bring Russia natural gas to Europe via a southern route that would bypass Ukraine entirely.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the Turkstream pipeline project in December 2014 after EU regulations scuttled plans by Moscow to construct its South Stream, which would have taken gas to southern Europe and Bulgaria.

Aleksei Miller, the head of Russian gas giant Gazprom, said on December 3 that Turkey would have to ask Russia to reopen talks on TurkStream.

But Novak said talks with Turkey on building a nuclear power plant with Russian expertise are still ongoing.

Based on reporting by AFP and TASS