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Russia and Turkey sign Turkish Stream deal

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World Pipelines,

On 10 October, Russian and Turkish officials have signed an agreement regarding the construction of a major undersea gas pipeline that will supply natural gas to Turkey and western Europe. The two countries also agreed to seek common ground on the war in Syria to restore their political ties.

Signed by the Russian and Turkish Energy Ministers during a ceremony in Istanbul, the agreement concerned the Turkish Stream pipeline project. The ceremony was attended by Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The ceremony came after earlier talks hosted by Erdogan in Istanbul. Himself and Putin discussed energy deals, trade and tourism ties, defence and conflict in Syria.

News sources have reported that according to the agreement, two undersea pipelines will be built under the Black Sea by late 2019. One of the pipelines will deliver gas to Turkey, while the other will deliver gas to deliver gas to western Europe.

The annual capacity of each line is expected to be approximately 15.75 billion m3 of gas, making a total capacity of over billion m3 of gas.

“Today has been a full day with President Putin of discussing Russia-Turkish relations. [...] I have full confidence that the normalisation of Turkish-Russian ties will continue at a fast pace,” Erdogan stated at a joint news conference.

He added: "Our relations will [improve] in many fields, be it in defence industry, political, economic, trade, tourism or culture. We will make up for lost time in the coming days.”

Turkish Stream talks have been relatively longwinded as both countries have faced troubled economies and strained ties with both the West and each other. The pipeline project had previously been halted after a Turkish jets shot down a Russian warplane that was operating from a Syrian air base in November 2015.

However, arguably, Russia is keen to move forward with the project as it will allow Moscow to strengthen its position in the European gas market and cut energy supplies via Ukraine.

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