Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız announced that the coordinates that were anticipated for the Turkish Stream pipeline project, which will transfer Russian natural gas to Europe through Turkey, has arrived from Russia and the process will be accelerated by gaining the necessary permission and approvals. Yıldız also said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Baku was very constructive.
During a reception held by the Turkish Wind Energy Association Council, Yıldız answered questions from Russia's state-owned Sputnik news agency and evaluated the meeting between Erdoğan and Putin. Emphasizing that he accompanied Erdoğan, Yıldız said the latest developments regarding Turkey's nuclear power plant projects, which are being built in partnership with Russia, and the Turkish Stream were discussed during the meeting with Putin.
The Foreign Ministry received the coordinates last week that were sought from the Russian state-owned Gazprom energy giant, Yıldız said, adding prior authorization for the feasibility report should be received as the next step. "Gaining this authorization is an issue concerning the continuation of the process. There some developments may occur within the week. The discussion of the Turkish Stream focuses on one pipeline, not four pipelines. In other words, the Turkish Stream negotiations with a 63 billion-cubic-meter capacity in total only include the one pipeline with a 16 billion-cubic-meter capacity. All negotiations will be conducted on the single pipeline. This is the subject of what Putin and Erdoğan continue to discuss," Yıldız said.
Last December, Russia scrapped the South Stream pipeline project that would have transported natural gas to Europe and brought forward the proposed four-line and 63 billion-cubic-meter project that will bypass Ukraine and instead reach the Turkish-Greek border through the Black Sea. Gazprom announced last week that the intergovernmental agreement for the construction of the Turkish Stream project would be signed at the end of the month.
According to Yıldız, the necessary permission will be given if the relevant conditions are fulfilled regarding the first part of the pipeline. He earlier announced that Russia might start the construction of the first line as soon as the information about the coordinates is obtained and the ongoing negotiations reach an agreement.
Russia is still a major gas supplier for Turkey. Yıldız said no steps have been taken regarding the other three lines of the Turkish Stream, adding Russia may take steps to construct them if Europe places an order for gas from Russia. "The matter concerns the EU and Russia," he said.
Putin to meet with Gazprom's Miller
After the meeting in Baku, Putin decided to hold a meeting with Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller. According to a statement released by Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitri Peskov, Putin will meet with Miller in order to discuss the results of the meeting with Erdoğan as well as other international projects.
Putin met with Erdoğan in Baku when he visited the city for the opening ceremony of the European Games. Peskov said Erdoğan and Putin had discussed basic energy projects including the Turkish Stream and problems with Mersin's Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant. Peskov added that the construction progress of the plant was progressing normally and the problems encountered were basic technical problems frequently observed at such large capacity projects. Peskov further stressed the leaders also discussed other projects and international issues, mainly Ukraine.