MOSCOW, December 3. /TASS/. Turkey will lose up to $440 mln a year if the Black Sea straits are closed for transportation of Russian oil, head of Russian oil transportation company Transneft Nikolay Tokarev said on Thursday.
"What does the closure of the straits mean? That means that $110-115 mln tonnes of oil and oil products should go through some other outlets and won’t reach consumers via the straits. Turks also know how to count: in average transportation of one tonne of oil costs $3 not more than $4. Let’s multiply 110 million tonnes by $4 - that is what Turkey will lose," - he said.
Tokarev said that 60 million tonnes of 110 million tonnes are of Russian origin. This includes 25-27 million tonnes of oil and 35 million tonnes of oil products. The oil supplied by the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, Kazakh and Azeri oil account for the rest 40 million tonnes.
The head of Transneft stressed that Russia is able to redirect its oil flows.
"I come to the conclusion that there is no real threat for the transportation of Russian oil vi the straits," he said.
Earlier this week, Igor Demin, an official representative of Transneft said that in case Turkey blocks Black Sea straits, Russia has enough pipeline capacities to redirect its oil volumes and meet all its commitments on oil supplies.
"Under international law, Turkey has no right to block the straits. If non-state methods are used, we have surplus [of pipeline capacities] in all directions and in case of the lockout, we will easily transfer these supplies to the Druzhba (pipeline), BTS-1, BTS-2, Ust-Luga and Primorsk, let alone railroad shipments," he said.
Demin reminded, that in accordance with the Convention Montreux Turkey has the right to regulate only the passage of warships through the Black Sea straits. Under the document, merchant ships are free to go through straits both in peacetime and in wartime.
Thus, in the present situation there is no legal basis to close the straits to Russian ships, he said.