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Erdogan, Putin to Launch New Dual Gas Line

Erdogan, Putin to Launch New Dual Gas Line

Wednesday, 8 January, 2020 - 12:30
FILE PHOTO - Presidents Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin of Russia hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Ankara, Turkey April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
Asharq Al-Awsat

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin are meeting in Istanbul to inaugurate the dual natural gas line connecting their countries that will open up a new export path for Russian gas into Turkey and Europe.

The two presidents are expected to discuss Syria and Libya, where the two leaders support opposing sides, while addressing regional tensions in Iraq and Iran, which have escalated with the US killing of a top Iranian commander.

With TurkStream, Russian gas will pass through the Black Sea to Turkey. Together, the two 930-kilometre (578-mile) lines under the Black Sea, along with the Russian and Turkish onshore pipes, will have the capacity to carry 31.5 billion cubic meters (1.1 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas annually, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Russia is the top gas supplier to Turkey, which relies on imports for its energy needs, transporting gas through another pipeline under the Black Sea called Blue Stream and the onshore West Line through Ukraine.

Relations remain tense between Moscow and Kyiv with years of conflict and TurkStream allows Russia to bypass Ukraine by opening up a second direct transport line to Turkey.

From Turkey, Russian gas will reach southern and southeastern Europe through new and existing lines.

Erdogan and Putin talk and meet often, co-operating on trade, energy and defence industries, while engaging in negotiations on the Syrian civil war and now also on Libya.

Putin is in Turkey following a visit to Syria where he met President Bashar Assad.

According to AP, Turkey has supported opposition against Assad in the country’s eight-year civil war.

War-torn Libya is now another location where the two leaders will try their diplomatic influence and negotiations.

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