MOSCOW : Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Tuesday the approval of the TurkStream natural gas pipeline agreement by his Turkish counterpart.
"I want you [Prime Minister Binali Yildirim] to convey my sincere greetings to President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan. We appreciate his approval for the law regarding the TurkStream," Putin said during a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
Putin said this was one of the "major" projects that both countries wanted to put into effect.
The TurkStream project, announced by Putin during a Dec. 2014 visit to Turkey, will carry gas from Russia under the Black Sea to Turkey's Thrace region. One line, with 15.75 billion cubic meters of capacity, is expected to supply the Turkish market, while a second line intends to carry gas to Europe.
The agreement on the project entered into force through promulgation in the Turkish Official Gazette on Tuesday.
The General Assembly of the Turkish Parliament ratified the bill for the TurkStream agreement on Dec. 2 and it was consequently approved by Erdogan.
Putin was also pleased with the resume of relations -- that temporarily strained after Turkey downed a Russian warplane on the Syrian border a year ago -- in every field.
Turkish premier said the one-year-long "unpleasant" period was over. "The areas where we will intensify our relations are certain, energy comes first," Yildirim added.
On plans to build Turkey's first nuclear plant in southern Mersin province, Yildirim said: "Our desire is to at least put the first phase of the project into effect before 2023. We will make every effort to achieve this."
The agreement for the Akkuyu nuclear plant was signed in 2010. The plant plans to have 4,800 megawatts of capacity in four units and is anticipated to be operational by 2023.
Turkey plans to build a second nuclear plant in the central Black Sea province, Sinop, while a third one is expected to be built in Igneada on the western Black Sea coast.
*Reporting by Hakan Ceyhan Aydogan and Mumin Altas; Writing by Diyar Guldogan
Source: Anadolu Agency