(QHA) -

Turkey’s officials say timeframe for the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project, is unrealistic, as Turkey is concerned about too much dependence on Russian energy.

Moscow’s plans for Turkish Stream-- which Moscow hopes will replace scrapped South Stream project are unlikely to advance as quickly as Moscow might like-- Turkish energy officials said in an interview to Reuters.

Facing objections from the European Union, Russia in December abandoned its $40 billion South Stream project which would have passed under the Black Sea to Bulgaria and carry up to 63 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas annually to Europe.

Instead, Russian gas exporter Gazprom said in January it planned to build an undersea gas pipeline with the same capacity to an as-yet unbuilt hub on the Turkish-Greek border by the end of 2016.

"The issue is not Turkish Stream alone, this is a whole package for Turkey's energy needs. We need to be a little bit patient," Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told Reuters.

Turkey is already heavily dependent on Russia for natural gas. Last year it bought 27.33 bcm of gas through the Blue Stream and West-East pipelines from Russia, equivalent to more than half of its gas imports.