During the conversation Vladimir Putin noted that Russia and Turkey maintain a higher level of cooperation than other countries, recalling that the agreement on building the Turkish Stream was signed in 2016 and the work on laying the deep-water section of the pipeline is already underway. Mr Putin said the first leg of the pipeline will be ready next year and the second one in late 2019.
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Excerpts from telephone conversation with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President!
I am calling you from a pipe-laying vessel in the Black Sea. This is a huge ship that has been working for several days now. I am here to take part in launching the work on the deep-water section of the Turkish Stream pipeline.
Mr President, I would like to congratulate you on this launch and say that Russia has been more effective in implementing joint projects with Turkey than with many of our other partners.
It would be no exaggeration for me to say that where we spend years with our other partners on securing various administrative approvals, with Turkey we have been able to do it within just a few months. There is no doubt that this is attributable to your direct and personal support.
Russia and Turkey signed an intergovernmental agreement on the Turkish Stream in autumn 2016. Seven months later, the work is already underway.
I would like to thank you once again and congratulate you on this achievement.
There are still several questions we need to coordinate: the entry point, the route on Turkish territory and environmental security. If we are able to keep up this momentum, as we have until now, we will fulfil all our plans.
The first leg will be ready in 2018, and by the end of 2019 the second leg will be completed. We will be ready to supply gas to southern and southeastern Europe through Turkish territory, should our partners so desire. We can see that our partners are interested in this option.
I understand that you wanted to be here with us today. I can assure you that we will make certain that your interests are properly represented and taken into account, since in this case our interests fully coincide.
You have mentioned another major project, the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant. Only recently the Turkish regulator issued a licence to the Russian operator for selling electricity until 2066, and I would like to thank you for that. If we continue moving forward at the same pace on other issues, we will surely fulfil our plans, including those to launch the nuclear power plant on time.
I would like to wish you and the people of Turkey all the very best.
Until next time.