Ankara gives first approval for Turkish Stream

Ankara gives first approval for Turkish Stream

CEO of Russian natural gas giant Gazprom Alexei Miller, in a statement released Wednesday, said the company, through diplomatic channels, had received the first official approval for the Turkish Stream Pipeline Project, which will deliver Russian gas to Southern and Central Europe via Turkey. It said that the approval had been granted during a meeting between Energy Minister Berat Albayrak and Gazprom CEO Miller in Istanbul last week. Miller said the approval showed the great interest shown by Turkey toward the project's realization and that the launching of the project would soon begin. The project will consist of four pipelines and will cost more than $10 billion. It will carry 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas when completed.

In an interview with Bloomberg news agency last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project will finish sooner or later. According to a post on the Kremlin's website, Putin said that they will ultimately at least put into practice the first segment, which is on transferability and the increment of supply to the Turkish domestic market.

The Energy and Natural Resources Ministry announced last week that Turkey and Russia have agreed to obtain the necessary permits for the realization of the Turkish Stream project. The ministry's statement revealed, "Both parties expressed mutual determination to take steps to guarantee Turkey's rights arising from the contract within the framework of the arbitration process, and resolve the question that led to this process." During one-on-one and inter-delegation meetings in Istanbul, the Russian and Turkish delegations addressed the issues of the Turkish Stream project, regional cooperation on energy and the arbitration process that Turkey initiated as part of its rights arising from the contract that it signed with Russia.

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the jet crisis last year between Turkey and Russia, the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Aug. 9 is regarded as the onset of a new era in terms of relations between the two countries, further fostering economic cooperation. In this respect, more concrete steps started being taken regarding the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant project - the first of three nuclear power plants Turkey currently plans to build in the southern province of Mersin along with the Russian state-owned nuclear energy company Rosatom, aside from Turkish Stream.

The Turkish Stream project is designed to transfer Russian natural gas to Europe via the Black Sea and Turkey. Under Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom's plans, the Turkish Stream pipeline will be split into four lines with a total capacity of 63 billion cubic meters a year. In December 2014, Russia scrapped the South Stream pipeline project that would have transported natural gas to Europe via Bulgaria and brought forward the proposed four-line and 63 billion-cubic-meter project that will bypass Ukraine and stretch to the Turkish-Greek border through the Black Sea.

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