Turkey and Russia signed a nuclear cooperation deal in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Turkey Atomic Energy Agency (TAEK) and Russia's Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Nuclear Supervision (ROSTECHNADZOR) signed a cooperation deal.
Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz and Russian Deputy Premier Igor Sechin signed the agreement at a ceremony held at the Ciragan Palace in Istanbul.
Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin who is in Istanbul to attend the Summit of Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia (CICA) also attended the ceremony.
The agreement foresees information and know-how exchange on licensing of nuclear facilities and activities.
Under the agreement, TAEK and ROSTECHNADZOR will cooperate in the areas of regulations for licensing and supervision, protection from radiation, management of quality of nuclear facilities, radioactive fuels and fuel waste management, and safety regulations for nuclear/radioactive materials and radioactive wastes, emergency reaction and readiness and training for supervisory personnel.
Yildiz said the Turkish parliament would vote within a few of weeks a deal with Russia to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant.
"The agreement we signed on the construction of the nuclear plant and electricity to be generated there will be submitted to the parliament for approval within next 2-3 weeks," Yildiz told reporters.
"Strong ties to contribute to regional peace"
The Turkish prime minister said that consolidation of relations between Turkey and Russia would contribute to regional peace, economic development and stability, particularly in the Caucasus.
Turkey's Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan defined multi-dimensional relations with Russia as a prior foreign policy item of Turkey.
"We aim to raise our trade volume to 100 billion USD in five years," Erdogan told a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Istanbul.
Erdogan and Putin met over breakfast at the Ciragan Palace on the sidelines of the The Third Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).
The trade volume between the two countries dropped to 23 billion USD in 2009 due to the global economic crisis.
Erdogan said Turkey provided a great deal of its natural gas demand from the Russian Federation, and Turkey would take new steps for use of more natural gas in industry.
"Right to diversify energy sources"
One day after Turkey and Azerbaijan signed a gas deal, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that Turkey has the right to diversify its energy sources.
Putin said, however, the amount of natural gas to be drilled from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas field cannot be compared with Russian natural gas.
Putin said Turkey's need for energy has increased in line with its growing economy, adding that Russia has been making up for the Iranian gas Turkey failed to get every winter over the past few years.
Turkey and Azerbaijan inked a deal on Monday that will ship 11 billion cubic meters of Azeri natural gas a year to Turkey beginning 2016.
Putin said transportation of gas was as important as supply problems and added that current pipelines were not enough to meet demand.
On Nabucco pipeline project, Putin said the project would of course be implemented if it is considered economically advantageous. However, he argued, Azeri natural gas would not be enough to feed this project.
Putin also stated that Russia was working on new projects to add two more lines to Blue Stream, a major trans-Black Sea gas pipeline that carries natural gas from Russia into Turkey, in a move to re-export Russian gas from Turkey to third countries.
"Putin meeting with Ahmedinejad"
Asked about Iran's nuclear program, Putin said that he could have a meeting with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Istanbul on the sidelines of the regional conference both leaders taking part.
Putin said obstacles in front of the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes should be removed, adding that UN Security Council decisions should not put Iranian people in a difficult condition.
"Defending rights of civilians"
The Turkish prime minister also said that Turkey would defend the rights of civilians who lost their lives in Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.
Turkey's Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would defend rights of the dead civilians of the flotilla in all international platforms.
"Our agonies will alleviate when justice prevails," Erdogan said.
Premier Erdogan's remarks came after the Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla on May 31, killing eight Turkish and one U.S. citizen of Turkish descent and wounding almost 30 people.