MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia and Turkey signed an intergovernmental deal on Monday to build two strings across the Black Sea. Each leg will carry an annual 15.75 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas to Turkey.
"This project is in the interest of Europe as a [gas] consumer, Turkey as a consumer and provider, and Russia as a provider and producer," Mustafa Elitas said in an interview.
Elitas, a former economic minister, said that cooperation between the two regional powers would boost the development of both the region and separate nations involved in the project.
The Turkish Stream project, aimed at delivering Russian gas to Turkey and parts of Europe, was announced in late 2014 by President Vladimir Putin during his state visit to Turkey. In November 2015, the project was suspended after a Russian Su-24 aircraft was downed by a Turkish F-16 fighter in Syria. A thaw in relations between Moscow and Ankara began last June following Turkey's apology to Russia.
Russia's energy giant Gazprom will own rights for both offshore strings of the pipeline, while the land stretch of the first leg will be owned by the Turkish customers and the land stretch of the second leg will be controlled by a joint venture.