Russia and Turkey are close to making a digital natural gas trade deal.
Vladimir Putin met with Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi to discuss it. Putin said the gas hub will improve regional energy stability.
Russia wants to boost ties with Turkey as its relations with the EU worsen. Putin first proposed the digital gas hub last year.
He said it would make Turkey Russia’s main gas export route to the West. Erdogan said the deal will deepen ties between the two countries.
The digital platform will not store large amounts of gas. Putin did not say if this would change the volume of gas trade in Turkey.
Russia’s Gazprom has given a project plan to Turkey’s state energy firm, Botas. Both sides will now form a working group to set the rules.
Putin said Russia has already sent 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey this year. Turkey remains a close ally of Russia.
Many Western countries have cut trade with Russia because of the Ukraine crisis. Russia and Turkey are also building a US$20 billion nuclear power plant together.
The first reactor will be ready by 2024, Putin confirmed.
Turkey and Russia have a long history of trade and diplomatic ties. Their relationship has seen ups and downs over the years.
In recent times, they have worked together on several big projects.
One example is the TurkStream pipeline, which started operating in 2020. It carries gas from Russia to Turkey and further into Europe.
2016, relations were strained due to a military incident involving a Russian jet. However, both countries worked to mend ties quickly.
They are now cooperating in sectors like energy, tourism, and defense. Turkey buys Russian S-400 missile systems despite NATO concerns.
This deal has put stress on Turkey’s relations with the U.S.