Turkish and Russian presidents sign deal on natural gas project

Updated: 2016-10-11 09:12


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Turkish and Russian presidents sign deal on natural gas project

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan following a joint news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, October 10, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

ISTANBUL - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday signed an agreement on piping Russian natural gas to Turkey and possibly Europe following a meeting in Istanbul.

"I strongly believe that the normalization process between Turkey and Russia will continue," Erdogan said at the signing ceremony.

"As part of the Turkish Stream deal, we have also agreed to provide a discount on natural gas for Turkey," noted Putin.

The so-called Turkish Stream project, initiated by Putin in 2014 as an alternative route to the canceled South Stream project that would pass through Bulgaria, intends to deliver Russian gas to Turkey and European markets through the Black Sea.

The project was suspended following Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane in November 2015, but negotiations resumed after Ankara and Moscow moved to revive their relations in late June.

Putin's appearance in Istanbul for the 23rd World Energy Congress and a third meeting with Erdogan in two months is seen as a clear sign of warmer relations between their countries.

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