AKIPRESS.COM - The leaders of Turkey and Russia on Wednesday formally launched a Black Sea gas pipeline that will funnel Russian natural gas via Turkey to Europe, further cementing ties between the two nations against a backdrop of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran, Al Jazeera reports.
President Vladimir Putin joined Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul for the inauguration of Turkish Stream or TurkStream - an undersea pipeline stretching 930km (578 miles) from Anapa on the Russian Black Sea coast to Kiyikoy west of Istanbul.
The pipeline will carry Russian gas for Turkish domestic consumption, while a second leg slated for construction will carry Russian gas to southeast Europe through Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.
TurkStream enables Russia to bypass Ukraine to sell gas to Europe, while bolstering Turkey as a major energy transport hub. The project also marks another area of mutual cooperation between Moscow and Ankara, which have also deepened military cooperation after Turkey took delivery of a Russian-made S-400 missile defence system last year.