By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) – Turkey is becoming an important international energy hub as the TurkStream pipeline project becomes a reality, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in Istanbul on Monday.
Becoming an energy hub will strengthen Turkey’s geopolitical position, Putin said at a ceremony alongside Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan marking completion of the pipeline’s offshore section.
Construction of the TurkStream will have a positive impact on the development of the whole Black Sea region and will be an important safeguard for European energy security, he said.
Completion of the most difficult section of the gas pipeline testifies to the effective cooperation between Turkey and Russia in very important and complex areas, said Putin.
According to Putin, the basis of the project's success is trust between the two countries.
"I am sure that the TurkStream, as well as our other joint project — the Akkuyu nuclear power plant — will become a bright symbol of the development of a multifaceted Russian-Turkish partnership, and a symbol of friendship between our peoples," he said.
The Russian leader said the gas pipeline’s construction is being carried out in accordance with the highest technological and environmental standards.
He said he also expects construction of the land section will be finished quickly as well.
Echoing Erdogan’s words setting a Turkish-Russian trade target of $100 billion a year, Putin said he “had no doubts” the two countries would achieve this goal.
The TurkStream project is an export gas pipeline set to cross beneath the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and also further extend to Turkey's borders with neighboring countries.
TurkStream's first line is set to carry 15.75 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas to Turkey. With a second line that goes to Europe, the project is to have a capacity of 31.5 bcm per year.