Russia and Turkey discuss construction of 2 lines of Turkish Stream





The Turkish Stream will be a gas pipeline through the Black Sea to the European part of Turkey, and then to the border with Greece. Source: Alexei Kudenko / RIA Novosti

Russia and Turkey are discussing construction of two lines of the pipeline Turkish Stream, one of which is to supply gas to Europe, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV channel on July 29.

"Overall, we are currently talking about construction of two lines. The second line is for European customers, consumers from southwestern European countries; the line can also be laid under the Black Sea and routed through Turkey," he said.

The Minister agreed that, given the possible increase in the cost of transit through Ukraine appeal of Turkish Stream is increasing to both Turkey and Russia. "Of course, if the cost of transit exceeds statements of our Ukrainian colleagues, it will affect cost of transporting and the end price for Turkish customers. Therefore, Turkey is interested in direct gas transit, bypassing other transit countries. Thus, the Turkish Stream provides one thread of 15.75 bln cubic meters of gas Turkish consumers," Novak said.

Thus, according to Novak, the role of Turkey as a transit country increases. "You can call that this a gas hub. In general, you know that Turkey has a large number of projects. In this sense that Turkey will really play a big role as a transit country to ensure gas supplies to European consumers," he said.

Speaking about the results of the talks with the Minister of Economy of Turkey Nihat Zeybekci, Novak said that the main purpose of the meeting was to restore economic relations. "We touched upon all issues relating to the development of our trade and economic cooperation, key issues of social cooperation related to the energy field. Recently we have been reviewing two major projects. First of all - the Turkish Stream - gas pipeline under the Black Sea. Now we talked about resuming the work on this project. The Turkish side expressed its interest in this project," he said.

The Turkish Stream pipeline was announced by the Russian authorities in December 2014 as a replacement for the South Stream pipeline. It was planned that the marine section of Turkish Stream would comprise four lines with the capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters each. The pipeline is to run 660 km (500 miles) in the old South Stream corridor and 250 km in the new corridor in the direction of the European part of Turkey.

In November 2015, the Turkish air forces shot down Russia’s Su-24 bomber over the territory of Syria. The incident led to serious tensions in relations between the two states.

In late June, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he apologized for the downed plane and expressed interests in settlement of the situation. After a phone conversation of the two presidents Putin ordered the Russian government to start talks with Turkey on restoration of cooperation in trade and other sectors.