ISTANBUL – Russia and Turkey agreed on Monday to move forward on Turkish Stream, an initiative for construction of a pipeline to transport Russian gas to Southern Europe via the Black Sea and Turkish territory, bypassing Ukraine.
The document was signed in the presence of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress in Istanbul.
“We have signed the Turkish Stream accord. There will be a reduction in the price of natural gas (for Turkey). We are advancing toward the Turkish president’s objective of making Turkey an energy operations hub,” Putin said during a joint press conference with his host.
First proposed by Moscow in 2014, the Turkish Stream initiative was suspended after Turkey’s November 2015 shootdown of a Russian warplane along the Syrian border.
Putin announced that Russia would resume purchases of Turkish farm products, which were also suspended following the warplane incident.
“I am convinced that the process of normalization of our ties will continue rapidly,” Erdogan said. “We will make up for lost time in the coming days.”
The rapprochement between Moscow and Ankara began in June, when Erdogan apologized for the downing of the Russian plane.