Putin and Erdogan celebrate their pipeline
The TurkStream pipeline from Russia to Turkey is also expected to deliver a lot of gas to Europe. Presidents Erdogan and Putin are now praising the speedy laying of the tubes in the Black Sea during a ceremony in Istanbul.
"Today we are seeing another step in the Turkish-Russian energy cooperation," said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the inauguration ceremony with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. It is a "historical project" that shows the intensity of the economic relations of their countries. "God willing, this project will be ready after the 2019 tests."
Putin called the pipeline an "important factor in European energy security". Turkey is developing into a "major European hub" in the gas business by branching from Turkish Stream to south-west Europe. The project was "not directed against another country," the president assured. He praised Erdogan's "political will and courage" and emphasized that he was confident that the pipeline and the Russian-built Akkuyu nuclear power plant "will become a clear symbol of Russia's and Russia's growing and diverse partnership".
The two politicians praised the completion of the two tubes under the Black Sea, but the land part in Turkey still needs to be built. The pipeline runs for 930 kilometers at a depth of about 2000 meters between the Russian Anapa and the Turkish coastal town of Kiyikoy. Construction began in May 2017. The pipeline will deliver 31.1 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Russia to Turkey.
The pipeline was laid by the giant special vessel "Pioneering Spirit". By the end of 2019, the part on the mainland should be completed, so that the gas supplies can begin. Half of the gas will go to major Turkish cities such as Istanbul, Bursa and Izmir, while the other half will continue to Europe. The pipeline bypasses Ukraine, with which Moscow has been in conflict for years. Russia has been supplying gas through the Blue Stream gas pipeline to Turkey since 2003. This connection also leads through the Black Sea and reaches the Turkish coast at the Black Sea town of Samsun.
Turkey and Russia had come to an end at the end of 2015 because of the conflict in Syria, where they stand on different sides. Since reconciliation in 2016, however, they have significantly increased their political and economic cooperation. Not only are Putin and Erdogan working closely together in the Syrian conflict, but Turkey is also increasingly buying Russian arms and commissioning Russia to build the first Turkish nuclear power plant.
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