Russia, Turkey ‘shake hands’ on Turkstream pipeline project

Russia and Turkey have agreed to press ahead with the construction of an undersea pipeline that will carry Russian gas through the Black Sea to Turkey.

The two countries’ energy ministers signed the deal in Istanbul on Monday, in the presence of Russian president Vladimir Putin and Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The document provides for the construction of two strings of the gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey across the Black Sea, as well as an onshore string for gas transit to Turkey’s border with neighboring countries.

Alexey Miller, Gazprom CEO said: “The document signed today is extremely important as it sets out the legal framework for the TurkStream project. The Agreement has been prepared in an unprecedentedly short period of time, which shows the strong commitment of both sides to deliver the project as soon as possible This is entirely understandable because the TurkStream gas pipeline will substantially enhance the reliability of gas supply to Turkey, as well as southern and southeastern Europe.”

The signing of the agreement actually marks the resumption of works on the TurkStream pipeline project which had been suspended after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane in 2015. Turkey then said the warplane had violated its airspace. The incident had led to the cooling of relations between the two countries.

The tensions between the two countries have now eased off. Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that he was “entirely convinced” that the process of normalization of Turkish-Russian relations will continue “at full speed.”

“Of course, our relations will be further developed, affecting many different areas: the defense and industry, the economy and trade, and all other areas related to the bilateral relations,” Erdogan said.

Offshore Energy Today Staff