TurkStream is a project of historic proportions for the energy geopolitics in our region

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Speaking at the ceremony for the completion of the offshore section of the TurkStream Project, President Erdoğan said: “The TurkStream is a project of historic proportions for our bilateral relations and for the energy geopolitics in our region, on which we have exerted great efforts with our Russian friends.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation attended the ceremony for the completion of the offshore section of the TurkStream Project.

Delivering a speech at the ceremony in Istanbul, President Erdoğan welcomed President Putin and his delegation to Turkey and said: “It fills us with joy that the TurkStream natural gas pipeline’s offshore section, running through the Black Sea, has been completed and the pipeline has reached our lands.”

“THE TURKSTREAM PROJECT HAS MANY ADVANTAGES FOR OUR NEIGHBORS AND THE ENVIRONMENT”

“The TurkStream is a project of historic proportions for our bilateral relations and for the energy geopolitics in our region, on which we have exerted great efforts with our Russian friends,” President Erdoğan underscored. “The TurkStream Project consists of three sections, namely the land section in Russia, the offshore section and the land section in Turkey. Following the tests to be conducted in 2019, it will be ready to come into operation.”

President Erdoğan continued his speech as follows: “The TurkStream Project, which will transport 31.5 billion-cubic-meter natural gas annually, has many advantages not only for our country and nation but also for our neighbors and the environment. We plan to transfer at least half of the natural gas, transported through here, to Europe. Our critical production and export centers such as Istanbul, Bursa, Kocaeli, İzmir, will have a new supply line. Thus Turkey will be able to meet both its own and the European countries’ demand for natural gas without experiencing transit risks.”

“WITH THE TURKSTREAM PROJECT, WE HAVE RAISED THE BAR IN THE INDUSTRY”

“By realizing a technically-difficult project within the standards of reliability, safety and sustainability, I believe we and our Russian friends have raised the bar in the industry,” President Erdoğan noted, and said: “Natural gas is growing more important and its security of supply is increasing in global energy markets. What matters here is the economic feasibility of energy projects. Countries’ decisions as to where and how to obtain natural gas in accordance with their own circumstances must be respected. Pressures which will violate states’ sovereign rights and prevent them from serving their citizens, will benefit no one.”

“RUSSIA IS A RELIABLE FRIEND AND AN IMPORTANT NATURAL GAS SUPPLIER”

“To us, the Russian Federation is a reliable friend, with whom we can have a long-term cooperation and an important natural gas supplier as in the example of this project. Turkey has bought 387 billion-cubic-meter natural gas from Russia since 1987, which is a very significant figure,” President Erdoğan said. “The Turkish-Russian friendship, reinforced after long-years and challenges, leads to outcomes to the benefit of both sides,” President Erdoğan underscored and further stated: “We have never defined the framework of our bilateral relations with Russia according to other countries’ demands or impositions. We have always worked to establish long-term cooperation with Russia. We have worked with our Russian friends to ensure justice, peace and stability both in our region and in the global arena. We have seen that our joint stance has greatly contributed to alleviate the humanitarian crisis, caused by the conflicts in our neighbor, Syria.”

“WE HAVE ACHIEVED A 30% INCREASE IN OUR TRADE VOLUME LAST YEAR”

Stating that Turkey’s cooperation with the Russian Federation is advancing on a vast array of spheres, President Erdoğan said: “In addition to the TurkStream, we are also carrying into operation the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant Project, whose ground we broke in early April, with Russia. We are improving our bilateral trade by benefiting from the fact that our economies complete each other. We have achieved a 30% increase in our trade volume last year. Our goal is to reach a trade volume of $100 billion.”

Noting that the bilateral investments of Turkey and Russia, excluding the Akkuyu Project, are over $10 billion each, President Erdoğan said: “We broke a new record this year in tourism and hosted 5.1 million Russian tourists in the first 9 months of 2018.”

“We will reciprocally celebrate the year 2019 as culture and tourism year,” President Erdoğan said, and added: “The events to be held next year will allow our peoples to get to better know each other.”

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT PUTIN: “THE GOAL IS $100 BILLION TRADE VOLUME”

President Putin of Russia, on his part, noted that they want to reach a bilateral trade volume of $100 billion with Turkey. Pointing to the long-standing successful cooperation on energy between Turkey and Russia, President Putin said: “The TurkStream will make Turkey an important natural gas hub and will have a positive effect on Turkey’s position. It is not possible to carry out such a project without trust between the two countries. I would like to offer my sincere and profound gratitude to Mr. Erdoğan and thank him for the political will and courage he displayed. We believe the entire project will be completed by 2019. We are using the most environment-friendly and advanced technology.”

Following their speeches, the last pipe of the offshore section was laid upon President Erdoğan and President Putin’s instructions.