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Erdoğan, Putin agree to form natural gas hub in Turkey

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Wednesday that he had agreed with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to form a natural gas hub in Turkey.

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Speaking to members of his AK Party in parliament, Erdoğan said Putin had said Europe can obtain its gas supply from the hub in Turkey.

Putin last week proposed Turkey as a base for gas supplies after the Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic Sea were damaged last month by blasts.

The European Union, which previously turned to Russia for about 40 percent of its gas needs, is however seeking to wean itself off Russian energy following the invasion of Ukraine in February.

Major EU importers such as Germany and Italy have found alternative sources and built up gas stocks ahead of a winter that is likely to be tough because of sky-high energy prices and the fear of rationing and power cuts.

Both Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, connecting Russia and Germany, were damaged last month, spewing out a large amount of gas.

Russia and the West have blamed the damage on sabotage, with suggestions of the other side possibly being responsible, but have not officially identified a culprit.

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