Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan begins a two-day trip to Russia on Jan. 12. Energy ties between the two countries are expected to be at the center of negotiations during his visit, as Russia's Gazprom now controls over 65 percent of the Turkish gas market, and Lukoil controls 5 percent of the petroleum retail sector.
In this report, RFE/RL's Yelena Solntseva examines the Turkish media's assessments of Russian - Turkish ties and views of Istanbul residents on bilateral relations. "About 40 years ago no one could expect that Antalya would become the main holiday destination for Russians and that Russia would become the most profitable workplace for Turk," a 45-year-old Istanbul resident tells her.
Yukos Trial Postponed Until March
The court case brought by the shareholders of the now defunct oil company Yukos against the Russian government, which was scheduled to begin Jan. 14 in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, has been postponed until March 4 due to representatives of the Russian government being unable to attend.
In an interview with RFE/RL, Claire Davidson, the official representative of the Yukos shareholders, says that the amount of compensation sought will be revealed on Jan.14. "In accordance with the European Convention, the Russian Federation is obliged to pay any [amount of] compensation fixed by the European Court, including penalties in case of a delay of payment," Davidson tells RFE/RL. Observers estimate that the amount of compensation sought could amount to more than $90 billion.[read in Russian]