The Russian government has approved a draft legislation on Friday to enable Russia to ratify its agreement with Turkey on the TurkStream gas pipeline project.
A statement released by the official website of the Russian government said it approved the draft federal law and submitted it to the State Duma in accordance with the established procedure.
Ankara and Moscow signed an intergovernmental agreement in October, which was approved by Parliament and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in November.
During Yıldırım's visit in the beginning of December, his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev had said the TurkStream would soon be ratified in Russia. This statement came hours after the TurkStream agreement entered into force in Turkey when it was published in the Official Gazette on Dec. 6 after being passed in Parliament and approved by President Erdoğan.
In the meantime, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak noted that construction of the pipeline will begin in 2017 and that the construction of both the sea and the land sections will be completed by the end of 2019.
Turkey, which is the second biggest consumer of Russian gas after Germany, imports around 30 billion cubic-meters of gas from Russia annually via two pipelines, the Blue Stream, which passes under the eastern Black Sea, and the Western Line through the Balkans. Estimated to have a capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters through the two lines, the TurkStream project's first and second lines will transfer Russian natural gas to Turkey and European countries, respectively. The project involves two more pipelines that will increase capacity to 63 billion cubic meters. Previously, President Erdoğan said the construction of another two lines to carry Russian natural gas to Europe via the Turkish-Greek border would depend on the demand.