Turkey to become international energy hub with TurkStream: Putin

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) as they attend a ceremony commemorating completion of sea section works for TurkStream natural gas project on November 19, 2018 at Istanbul Congress Center (ICC) in Istanbul, Turkey. AFP PHOTOS

Turkey is becoming an important international energy hub as the TurkStream pipeline project becomes a reality, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in İstanbul on Monday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Becoming an energy hub will strengthen Turkey’s geopolitical position, Putin said at a ceremony with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan marking completion of the pipeline’s offshore section.

Construction of TurkStream will have a positive impact on the development of the whole Black Sea region and will be an important safeguard for European energy security, he said.

Completion of the most difficult section of the gas pipeline testifies to the effective cooperation between Turkey and Russia in important and complex areas, said Putin.

According to Putin, the basis of the project’s success is the trust between the two countries.

“I am sure that the TurkStream as well as our other joint project — the Akkuyu nuclear power plant — will become a bright symbol of the development of a multifaceted Russian-Turkish partnership and a symbol of friendship between our peoples,” he said.

He said he also expects construction of the land section to be finished quickly as well.

Echoing Erdoğan’s words setting a Turkish-Russian trade target of $100 billion a year, Putin said he had “no doubt” the two countries would achieve this goal.

The TurkStream project is an export gas pipeline set to cross beneath the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and also further extend to Turkey’s borders with neighboring countries.

TurkStream’s first line is set to carry 15.75 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas to Turkey. With a second line that goes to Europe, the project is to have a capacity of 31.5 bcm per year.

Since 1987 Turkey has purchased 387 bcm of natural gas from Russia, said Erdoğan, adding that the project shows both countries’ successes in the field of energy.

Hailing relations between the two countries, Erdoğan called Russia a “reliable” partner for Turkey and “important” natural gas provider that Turkey can cooperate with in the long run.

Turkey’s solidarity with the Russian leadership and people pave the way for bigger projects for both sides, he added.

The TurkStream project has many advantages not only for Turkey but also for its region and neighboring countries, he said.

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