Putin to attend Istanbul ceremony for Turk Stream pipeline

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Istanbul next week marking the completion of the underwater segment of the Turk Stream pipelines, Turkish secularist daily Cumhuriyet reported on Wednesday.

The November 19 ceremony will celebrate an important milestone in the construction of the double pipeline project, which will run from Russia across the Black Sea, and then through Turkey to Europe.

Energy giant Gazprom completed the undersea portion of the pipe, and the Russian firm will collaborate with the Turkish state-run Petroleum Pipeline Company (BOTAŞ) for the land-based sections.

Turk Stream is expected to have a top capacity of 31.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas once it reaches completion. Gas is expected to begin flowing in December 2019.

Turkey is likely to consume half of that amount, while the other half will be transferred to Europe across the Greek-Turkish border.

Russia and Turkey have enjoyed tighter relations since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s summer 2016 apology for shooting down a Russian fighter jet over Syria in November 2015.

Joint energy projects include Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, which Russian nuclear energy company Rosatom is building in Akkuyu, southern Turkey.

The United States, meanwhile, has expressed unease at another Russian pipeline carrying gas to Europe, and warned Hungary, which stands to buy gas shipments from Turk Stream, to instead consider diversifying its energy sources.

“Russia is using a pipeline project Nord stream 2 and a multi-line Turkish stream to try to solidify its control over the security and the stability of Central and eastern Europe,” U.S. Energy Secretary said in November.


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