ANKARA, Turkey (HPD) — Turkey and Russia have instructed their respective energy authorities to immediately begin technical studies on a Moscow proposal that would turn Turkey into a gas hub for Europe, Turkish President Recep Tayyip said. Erdoğan.
His Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, has raised the idea of exporting more gas through the TurkStream gas pipeline, which runs under the Black Sea to Turkey, after shipments to Germany through the Nord Stream pipeline in the Baltic were halted.
Erdogan noted that Russian and Turkish energy authorities will work together to designate the best location for a gas distribution hub, adding that the Turkish region of Thrace, which borders Greece and Bulgaria, seemed to be the best location.
“Together with Mr. Putin, we have instructed our Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and the relevant institution on the Russian side to work together,” Erdogan said. “They will carry out this study. Wherever it is the most appropriate place, is where we hope to establish this distribution center.”
The Turkish leader made the remarks Thursday on his return from a regional summit in Kazakhstan, where he met with Putin. His words were reported by the Hurriyet newspaper and other media. It was his first public reference to the Russian proposal.
“We will not have to wait,” the president was quoted as saying.
Turkey has long been expressing its desire to become an energy hub.
But industry analysts have questioned whether the proposal to bring gas to Europe via Turkey will ever get off the ground, as European leaders criticize Russia’s reliability as a supplier and see supply cuts as a political attempt to divide them over their support for Ukraine.
Germany this week rejected a new proposal by Putin to increase the flow of gas to Europe through a connection to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic, which has never been operational. Moscow cut the parallel Nord Stream 1 pipeline over what it called technical problems.