Sputnik/ Mikhail Klementiev
On Monday Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed an agreement on the construction of the Turkish Stream gas supply project.
President Putin arrived in Istanbul on Monday to attend the three-day World Energy Congress, as well as to hold talks with his Turkish and Venezuelan counterparts.
“The agreement to be signed in the presence of the two presidents envisages the construction of two sections of the pipeline, across the Black Sea bed. The capacity of each pipeline will be 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas,” head of Gazprom Aleksey Miller had said.
Russia’s Gazprom and Turkey’s Botas 1 signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of Turkish Stream in December 2014. The new gas pipeline will have a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters, 14 billion cubic meters of which is slated for Turkish consumers. The rest will be transported to a delivery point on the Greek border for European customers.
Former Turkish Deputy First Minister of Foreign Affairs Faruk Logoglu told Sputnik Turkiye that the Turkish Stream project is very important for Turkey, enabling it to rival Ukraine as a major transit country for Russian gas.
“Firstly, it is important because of Turkey’s increasing energy needs. Secondly, thanks to this project Turkey can play the role of ‘regional energy hub’ in the international arena, through which Russian gas will enter the international market,” Logoglu said.
“In addition to the economic and geostrategic benefits this project is important for Turkey from an image point of view. The implementation of the Turkish Stream will allow Turkish to demonstrate itself a reliable energy partner and win trust on the regional and international arena.”
“At the same time, this project is an indication of the faith that Russia has in Turkey. After a period of crisis in bilateral relations this is of particular importance. Right now, Russian-Turkish relations are on the up. Turkey is strengthening its position in relation to the EU thanks to the expansion of cooperation with Russia. Therefore, this project is certainly extremely important and promising for Turkey,” Logoglu said.
Suleyman Sensoy, President of the Turkish-Asian Center for Strategic Studies, told Sputnik that the pipeline’s mutual benefit for Turkey and Russia will ensure that construction goes smoothly.
“Both parties are very interested in it. The Turkish authorities recently approved some of the technical documentation for the project and given appropriate permissions. I think the implementation of ‘Turkish Stream’ will be successful,” Sensoy said.