Ankara Again Eager to Build Turkish Stream Gas Pipeline With Moscow

© Sputnik / Alexey Kudenko / Go to the photo bankBuilding gas pipeline. File photo
Building gas pipeline. File photo - Sputnik International
Turkey is ready for dialogue with Russia on energy and is open toward the construction the first leg of the proposed Turkish Stream gas pipeline project, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said Tuesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Turkish Economic Affairs Minister Nihat Zeybekci said minutes earlier a political decision has been reached between Moscow and Ankara to implement the Turkish Stream project, as well as the Akkuyu nuclear power plant (NPP) project.

"We are open to dialogue [with Russia on energy]. From the viewpoint of Turkey’s gas energy needs we are in principle open to the construction of the first leg of the Turkish Stream," Simsek told reporters.

The Russian and Turkish energy ministers will establish a working group on the Turkish Stream project, Gazprom Management Committee Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev said earlier in the day.

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The Turkish Stream gas pipeline, with an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters, was announced in December 2014. The pipeline was expected to run below the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and continue to a hub on the Turkish-Greek border, from where gas could be transferred to Southern Europe.

The project was suspended in late 2015 amid the deterioration of Moscow-Ankara relations after Turkey downed a Russian Su-24 jet in November 2015.

Rapprochement between the two countries began in late June when, as Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he apologized for the Su-24 incident and extended his condolences to the family of the pilot killed in the incident.

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