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Putin and Erdogan to meet in autumn to discuss Turkish Stream project

Presidents of Russia and Turkey Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: todayszaman.com

Presidents of Russia and Turkey Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet in autumn to discuss implementation of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project, the Russian president’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on July 31.

“Putin and Erdogan will meet, but the only thing they agreed upon during their last phone talk was to additionally discuss the date of that bilateral Higher Council. The place and the time will be specified later,” Peskov said.

Earlier Reuters reported referring to some Turkish officials that “the talks had been suspended after Moscow failed to sign off on a key gas price discount agreement.”   In addition, the source reported that “Moscow is now pressing ahead with an alternative pipeline dubbed Turkish Stream, with the aim of delivering 63 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year by 2020.” Meantime, Turkey has licensed the construction of only one line for its own needs.

Gazprom planned to finish the construction of the first line of the Turkish Stream as early as in December 2016. To that end, the construction was to be launched in June. However, Gazprom cancelled the tenders for the expansion of the South Stream – the system necessary for the Turkish Stream – and terminated its relations with one of the project contractors – Saipem, Italy. The construction was not launched in time, as no agreements on the implementation of the project were signed with Turkey.

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