Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the rift between Turkey and Russia over the downing of a Russian fighter jet followed by diplomatic tension and Moscow-imposed trade sanctions on Ankara, would not harm the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, according to Anadolu Agency.

Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is to be built by Russian Rosatom at a cost of $20b in the southern province of Mersin on the Mediterranean coast.

International Business Times quoted Erdogan as saying that “There is no sign yet that the problems with Russia will affect projects like natural gas and the Akkuyu nuclear power plant.”

He insisted that Turkey was firm on its stance over Russia and was looking to other energy suppliers to guarantee the country’s independence.

“Besides Russia, Turkey has natural gas agreements with Iran, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Qatar, and Algeria,” Erdogan said. Turkey imports more than 50 % of its gas from Russia, the Turkish largest energy supplier.