Erdogan and Putin agree to get multi-billion ‘Turkish stream’ energy deal back on track

by WorldTribune Staff, August 11, 2016

Turkey and Russia agreed to revive the multibillion-dollar “Turkish Stream” natural gas pipeline after a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Aug. 9.

Putin had threatened to cancel the pipeline that would run from Russia to Turkey, and potentially the rest of Europe, after relations between the two nations collapsed when Turkish jets shot down a Russian fighter jet over Syria last November.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) greets Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their meeting in Konstantin Palace, August,9, 2016 in Strenla, Saint Petersburg. /Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Konstantin Palac in Strenla, St. Petersburg on Aug. 9. /Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia had also threatened to end its involvement in the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Turkey.

Erdogan told reporters that Putin pledged to build the pipeline quickly, according to Reuters. The restoration of relations is expected to be lucrative for both countries. Turkey had been Russian Gazprom’s second largest customer after Germany in 2015.

Erdogan also announced that Turkey and Russia would reinstate their annual bilateral trade target of $100 billion, according to Reuters. Erdogan also said talks about reinstating charter flights between the two countries would be accelerated.

After the November incident, Russia imposed sanctions on Turkey and accused it of helping Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) in Syria.

In June, the Kremlin announced that Erdogan had apologized for the downing of the Russian jet.

A statement released by the Russian government announced that Turkey had conveyed that it “never had the desire or deliberate intention of shooting down the Russian federation’s plane” and that it was prepared to do everything possible to restore relations.