06:12 GMT28 September 2020
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    The Turkish Stream gas pipeline is necessary for Ankara, and the project should be executed, Former Head of Turkey’s Military Intelligence General Ismail Hakki Pekin told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Friday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that the preparation of an intergovernmental agreement and a roadmap on the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project must be completed before the World Energy Congress in Istanbul on October 9-13.

    “It’s an important pipeline. It should be there,” Pekin stated. “Turkey, geopolitically speaking, is closer to the east. Therefore, it will make more sense for Turkey to side with those countries on the south and the south-east, Eurasia.”

    Pekin said that countries like Turkey follow certain geopolitical policies due to their location.

    “Whatever our interests are at that time, we would have to do things according to best of our interests,” Pekin explained. “When I am looking what is of our best economic and political interest, I would say it’s in Eurasia, not in the west. But it shouldn’t be a reason for us not to collaborate with West as well.”

    Pekin believes that the United States is making effort to prevent Russia’s expansion in the region.

    “Russia has realized that the war currently ongoing in Syria is about natural resources, who is going to control these natural resources?” he said. “The US is basically trying to limit Russia’s expansion in that area, and trying to prevent their integration in the West.”

    The Turkish Stream project was announced in the end of 2014 by President Vladimir Putin on his state visit to Turkey. In November 2015, the project, which was planned to bring Russian gas via the Black Sea into Turkey and southern Europe, was suspended after a Russian Su-24 aircraft was downed by a Turkish F-16 fighter in Syria. In June, following Turkey's apology to Russia for the November incident, the sides began a reconciliation process.

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