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Putin and Erdogan meet in Istanbul

Putin and Erdogan meet in Istanbul
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Wednesday, 08 January, 2020, 16:20

The Turkish and Russian presidents are meeting in Istanbul to inaugurate the dual natural gas line connecting their countries that will open up a new export path for Russian gas into Turkey and Europe.

Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin are also expected to discuss Syria and Libya, where the two leaders support opposing sides while addressing regional tensions in Iraq and Iran, which have escalated with the American killing of a top Iranian commander.

With TurkStream, Russian gas will pass through the Black Sea to Turkey. Together, the two 930-kilometre (578-mile) lines under the Black Sea, along with the Russian and Turkish onshore pipes, will have the capacity to carry 31.5 billion cubic metres (1.1 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas annually.

Russia is the top gas supplier to Turkey, which relies on imports for its energy needs, transporting gas through another pipeline under the Black Sea called Blue Stream and the onshore West Line through Ukraine. Relations remain tense between Moscow and Kyiv with years of conflict and TurkStream allows Russia to bypass Ukraine by opening up a second direct transport line to Turkey.