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Russia, Turkey will move swiftly on Putin’s plan to carry Russian gas: Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave an order to the energy ministry to work on building a gas hub in the country following talks with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin on the issue, NTV and other news channels reported on Friday.

Both countries would immediately start work on Putin’s proposal to transport Russian gas to Europe, President Erdogan said, adding that there would be “no waiting”, the news outlets reported.

Russian dictator Putin touted Turkey on Thursday as the best route for redirecting gas supplies to the European Union after Nord Stream pipeline leaks. The Russian leader claimed this would allow Europeans to receive gas at less “exorbitant” prices.

Turkish “Daily Sabah” daily reported that Putin said an intensified Russian-Turkish collaboration in gas deliveries could also help to regulate prices.

The Turkish president told daily about his hopes for establishing an international distribution centre in the best location possible. Such a spot, according to the official as quoted by Al-Jazeera, could be Turkey’s Thrace region, bordering Greece and Bulgaria.

He added that Turkish and Russian institutions would demonstrate the result of their work. This would be followed by consequential steps, he said, adding that there was no time to waste.

This week, Russian strongman Vladimir Putin floated the idea of exporting additional gas through the TurkStream gas pipeline running on the bed of the Black Sea to Turkey after gas deliveries to Germany through the Baltic Sea’s Nord Stream pipeline were suspended.

On Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the Russian proposal needed “to be studied well.”

“There are investments that need to be made, they need to be examined,” he said during a joint news conference with his Qatari counterpart. “This is a matter of supply and demand. How much of Europe … is ready to buy gas from such a project? This needs to be worked out together.”

FM Cavusoglu stressed that Turkey wanted to alleviate Europe’s energy crisis.

The weakening of Europe in all aspects is not in Turkey’s interest. On the contrary, it is against [Turkey’s interests],” he said.

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