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Official website of the President of Russia

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Ceremony to launch TurkStream gas pipeline

January 8, 2020, Istanbul

Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended ceremony to launch TurkStream gas pipeline.

The TurkStream project is a gas pipeline consisting of two lines with a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic metres of gas per year each. The first line is to ship Russian gas to Turkish consumers, the second one, to the countries of southern and southeastern Europe.

The ceremony was also attended by President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borissov.

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Speech at the ceremony to launch the TurkStream gas pipeline

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, Mr Vucic, Mr Borisov, Deputies of the Parliament of the Republic of Turkey, Ladies and Gentlemen,

All those present at the official launch of the new gas pipeline, TurkStream, are witnessing a very important event not only for Russia and Turkey, but also for the states of southern Europe, for the entire European continent. Our ministers have just spoken very convincingly about this.

The successful implementation of this grand joint project, a trans-Black Sea gas pipeline, clearly shows that the Russian-Turkish strategic partnership is producing significant, tangible results.

Interaction between Russia and Turkey is growing steadily in almost every area. Despite the complex international situation, and the attempts of a number of global players to hinder the expansion of mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries, our work is proceeding steadily.

I would like to note that Russia has been exporting gas to Turkey for 30 years, even though not everyone knows about it. It was initially shipped through the Trans-Balkan gas pipeline, then through the direct, transit-free Blue Stream pipeline. Last year alone, 24 billion cubic metres of fuel was delivered to our Turkish partners.

Now Russian gas will be shipped to Turkey via a new route, the TurkStream. This is in many ways a unique deep-sea gas transportation system, unprecedented in some parameters. Two parallel lines with a capacity of almost 16 billion cubic metres of gas each have been built. This involved laying over 1,800 kilometres of pipes, some of them at a more than two kilometre depth. This was difficult, hard work. It is also a high-tech project because the gas pipeline runs at tremendous depth, as well as in a very hostile environment.

The first line will deliver gas from the fields in western Siberia directly to our Turkish partners. The second one will cross Turkey to the Balkans, carrying fuel to Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece.

Again, the supply of Russian gas through TurkStream will undoubtedly be of great importance for not only the Turkish economy and the Black Sea region, but will also have a positive impact on the development of many south European countries, and will contribute to improving Europe’s overall energy security.

To build the pipeline, as I have said, we used advanced innovative technologies to achieve the highest economic efficiency of gas transportation, and guarantee the safety and environmental friendliness of the pipeline operation.

The builders used the most modern machinery and equipment. They also set a new world record of the fastest underwater installation of pipes – over six kilometres in one day.

I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard on the design and construction of this gas artery: the engineers and builders, employees of Russia’s Gazprom and Turkey’s Botas Petroleum Pipeline Corporation, as well as the employees of all the contractors involved.

Friends, colleagues,

Thanks to your high professionalism and your excellent dedicated work the TurkStream project was implemented with high-quality and in a timely manner. And, of course, I would like to express my gratitude to the Turkish government, the President of Turkey for the timely issuance of all the permits and licences required for the pipeline’s construction. I just want to repeat what I said last time I was here: I am grateful for the political will shown by the Turkish leaders in implementing projects of national importance and meeting the national interests of their country.

I am certain that in the future, Russia and Turkey will implement many more mutually beneficial joint projects, both in energy and in other fields. Together we can attain any complex and ambitious goal for the benefit of our two countries, our peoples, and for the benefit of our neighbours and partners. (Applause)

I would like to say one more thing in conclusion: we live in a complicated world, and unfortunately in the region where we are located, we are seeing more indications that the situation is being further aggravated. But Turkey and Russia are modelling completely different behaviour – an example of interaction and cooperation for the benefit of our peoples and the peoples of Europe, and the whole world. I know that we will act in the same way in the future and will achieve new successes.

Thank you.

January 8, 2020, Istanbul