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MOSCOW, July 28. /TASS/. Russia is ready to sign an intergovernmental agreement on the 1st line of the Turkish Stream within 1-2 weeks, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday, adding that now everything depends on Turkey.
"Everything will depend on the Turkish side as we’ve submitted our agreement project to the Turkish side. They’re now studying it. We expect to receive their response to our suggestion," he said.
Novak added that Russia expects to sign the intergovernmental agreement within the shortest possible time as it’s ready to do it "within a week or two."
Earlier a source in Russia’s Energy Ministry told TASS that at the level of the heads of states (Russia and Turkey - TASS) a decision on a phased implementation of the project has been made. "Russia is ready for a phased implementation of the project," the source said. Thus, the sides are currently negotiating documents regarding the first line of the Turkish Stream, which will supply Russian gas exclusively for the needs of the Republic. An intergovernmental agreement on the 2-4 lines of the pipeline, which are expected to transfer gas to the EU countries, will be included in a separate document, the source said.
On December 1, 2014 Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his visit to Ankara that Russia abandoned the South Stream project, and was embarking on the Turkish Stream instead. The project to build the South Stream gas pipeline was closed due to the European Union’s unconstructive approach to cooperation, including Bulgaria’s decision to stop the construction of the pipeline’s stretch on its territory. Putin said Russia would build a gas pipeline to Turkey where a gas hub on the border with Europe will be created. Gazprom and Turkey’s Botas signed a memorandum of understanding on building the pipeline’s offshore section across the Black Sea. Gazprom Russkaya was set up to be in charge of the pipeline construction.
The larger part of the Turkish Stream pipeline will run across the Black Sea and coincide with the South Stream route approved earlier. The pipeline’s underwater section is 900 km long, land section is 180 km long. The pipeline will have a capacity of 63 bln cubic meters, of which about 16 bln cubic meters will be given to Turkey. Unlike the South Stream, which implied a large-scale infrastructure construction in Europe, the Turkish Stream project is limited to the construction of a pipeline under the Black Sea and a gas hub on the border between Turkey and Greece. The remaining part of infrastructure will have to be built by Gazprom’s European customers themselves.