Next Stage is to Agree on the European Section of TurkStream – Spokesman

© Photo : TurkStream / Pipes for the TurkStream Offshore Pipeline are stored at ports on the coast of the Black Sea
Pipes for the TurkStream Offshore Pipeline are stored at ports on the coast of the Black Sea - Sputnik International
The first leg is set to bring gas across the Black Sea directly to Turkey, while the other one will run across the Turkish territory to its western border, transporting natural gas to countries in the south and southeast of Europe.

Today, at a ceremony marking the completion of the offshore section of the TurkStream pipeline, Sputnik spoke to the project’s spokesman, Sander van Rootselaar. 

According to the spokesman, the next stage is going to be negotiating the European section of the pipeline.

"TurkStream offers great opportunities. The project is important both for Russia and Turkey. TurkStream shows that the energy relations between Russia and Turkey have strengthened over the years; moreover, the project reflects a strong connection between the two nations. As a project company, we are very proud to contribute to the project," Rootselaar said. 

The Pioneering Spirit vessel passing through the Bosphorus to work on the TurkStream Offshore Gas Pipeline - Sputnik International
TurkStream Gas Pipeline to Contribute to EU Energy Security - Erdogan's Office
The spokesman pointed out that the natural gas supply would start in 2019, adding that "we have managed to do it faster than expected. From an engineering perspective, the offshore section was definitely one of the most challenging aspects of the project; but we're really pleased to see that we are working much faster than expected with regard to other sections as well. All this adds to our confidence that we'll be able to launch the pipeline on time."

READ MORE: Putin to Attend TurkStream Pipeline Completion Ceremony in Istanbul — Aide

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin shake hands as they attend a ceremony to mark the completion of the sea part of the TurkStream gas pipeline, in Istanbul, Turkey November 19, 2018 - Sputnik International
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According to Rootselaar, TurkStream helps cement ties between Turkey and Russia: "Both parties are very positive with regard to the project. We are also glad to see that Russia is developing a constructive dialogue with some other potential consumers, such as Hungary, Bulgaria or Serbia, who are quite interested in the project.

That is a remarkable situation, and the next step for TurkStream will be negotiating the European section of the pipeline, as we're talking about gas supply not only to Turkey, but also to south-eastern Europe."

"It's still too early to say how the project will expand, as the issue is still being discussed. What's important is that the natural gas network encourages investment in TurkStream; for example, Bulgaria and Serbia are willing to invest in their own infrastructure to get TurkStream gas. Italy has also expressed interest in Russian gas via TurkStream, which is also quite a positive development. At the same time, Italy is a big market for Russia; it's the third largest consumer of Russian gas, after Germany and Turkey. Russia needs to speak to Italy to reach an agreement on the pipeline's extension." 

The views expressed in this article are solely those of Sander van Rootselaar and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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