Turkish State Minister Kursad Tuzmen visited a groundbreaking ceremony of a residential complex project worth $230 million undersigned by Ozar-Akyapi (a Turkish company) in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, the Anatolia Times reports.

Delivering a speech in the ceremony, Tuzmen noted, ''trade volume between Turkey and Ukraine had been $125 million in 1992, but it rose to $3.5 billion in 2005.''

''Turkey and Ukraine support the project aimed at making Black Sea a free trade zone. If we fulfill this project, our bilateral trade amount will reach 5 billion USD in a short period of time,'' he stressed.

Tuzmen noted that several projects conducted by Turkish contracting companies in Ukraine cost $1 billion now, stating that this figure could rise to 2 billion USD over the next two years.

Stating that Turkish contracting companies undersigned several projects of $5.3 billion abroad in 2004, Tuzmen indicated that they undertook projects worth $9.3 billion in several countries in 2005.

Holding the press conference in KyivTurkish State Minister Kursad Tuzmen has indicated that ``Turkey has received a promise from Ukraine on the supply security of natural gas from Russia.``

Tuzmen met Ukraine`s First Deputy Prime Minister and Co-chairman of Turkey-Ukraine Joint Economic Commission Stanislav Stashevsky.

Tuzmen discussed Turkey`s problems vis-a-vis natural gas supplies.

According to Tuzmen, Stashevsky assured Turkey that Ukraine will assist Turkey in receiving the natural gas it needs from Russia.

Tuzmen told reporters that Turkey wishes to conduct joint searches for oil and natural gas in Ukraine. ``We also talked about support to Turkish contractors in Ukrainian tenders. Stashevsky praised the quality of Turkish contractors in Ukraine,`` noted Tuzmen.

Tuzmen is scheduled to return to Turkey on Saturday.


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