Russian energy giant Gazprom announces transition to the practical implementation of a project to lay a gas pipeline under the Black Sea, bypassing Ukraine, claiming it has received through diplomatic channels "the first permits" from the Turkish government on the project implementation, the company’s information department has told UNIAN.

As a result of last week's negotiations between Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Turkey Berat Albayrak, the agreement was reached on a swift completion of all necessary preparatory procedures for the launch of the project. "The start of the permits’ issuance is positive news for Gazprom. This move by the Turkish side reflects the Turkish government's interest in the Turkish Stream project and indicates the transition to its practical implementation," said Miller.

As UNIAN reported earlier, in December 2014, an agreement was reached between Moscow and Ankara on the construction of a gas pipeline between Russia and Turkey via the Black Sea. The project, called Turkish Stream suggested laying four threads with a total capacity of 63 million cubic meters of gas per year. It was initially planned that 16 million cubic meters will be delivered to Turkey, while the remaining amount will be distributed through the gas hub on the border with Greece.

After the conflict between Moscow and Ankara over the downed Russian warplane in November 2015, the project was suspended. July 26, 2016, Turkey announced its readiness to begin construction of the first thread of Turkish Stream. Minister of the Economy Zeybekci Nihat said that "there are political solutions for the settlement of the issue regarding further implementation of the project." According to him, the issue of construction of the Black Sea gas pipeline was being discussed in the negotiations with the Russian side.

August 10, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the construction of the first part of the Turkish Stream pipeline, bypassing Ukraine, for the needs of Turkey, could begin "in the near future", while the construction of the second part for the supply to the EU would be agreed with the European Commission.

The pipeline will pass for 660 km in the old corridor of South Stream and another 250 km in the new corridor in the direction of the European part of Turkey. On August 19, CEO of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine Andriy Kobolev said that Ukraine could lose 15 billion cubic meters from its current 70 bcm of Russian natural gas transit through its territory as a result of the construction of Turkish Stream.



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