02:18 GMT +311 December 2019
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    Turkish Stream Draft Deal Envisions One Leg by End of 2019 - Russian Minister

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    Turkish Stream Gas Pipeline Project (49)
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    The agreement on the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project envisions the construction of one pipeline leg by late 2019, with a possible expansion to two, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Tuesday.

    STRELNA (St. Petersburg), (Sputnik) – The minister said Russia and Turkey, whose leaders met for the first time in nearly a year to reset ties since the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey, agreed to set up a working group to implement the project aiming to bring Russian natural gas to Southern Europe via Turkey.

    "Within the framework of the working group, a draft intergovernmental agreement will be prepared and approved on the construction of at least one leg under the Black Sea with a possible extension to the second leg," Novak told the Rossiya 24 broadcaster.

    Forecasting its construction timeline at second half of 2019, the minister added that an intergovernmental agreement on the Turkish Stream could be reached and signed by October.

    Novak additionally echoed Russian President Vladimir Putin's earlier comments in saying that Moscow needs EU and European Commission guarantees that the Turkish Stream infrastructure would be in demand before talk of constructing the pipeline’s second leg.

    Addressing the likelihood of the project's third leg, the minister said: "Theoretically, anything is possible, but in a more practical matter we are now looking into what needs to be done in the first place."

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