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Erdogan says Akkuyu NPP project is symbol of Turkey-Russia cooperation

The Russian and Turkish presidents launched the Akkuyu NPP’s construction on Tuesday
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
© AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici

ANKARA, April 3. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday the Akkuyu NPP project is a symbol of cooperation between his country and Russia.

"The Akkuyu NPP is a symbol of our cooperation and an indicator of the level of this cooperation," he said at the ceremony of starting the construction of the NPP’s first unit on Tuesday that was also attended by visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"It is very important for us that several hundred our young people will be able to receive education in Russia to use their knowledge in Turkey. In this light, the nuclear power plant construction project will also make its contribution to education of Turkish citizens," he said.

The Akkuyu nuclear power plant will meet 10% of Turkey’s requirements for electric power, according to Erdogan.

"As the Akkuyu NPP is put into operation in 2023, Turkey will join the family of countries with nuclear power engineering. The Akkuyu NPP will allow us to meet 10% of the entire requirement for electric power," the Turkish president said.

Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak said at the ceremony that the nuclear power plant will be built "in compliance with all the required safety requirements." Albayrak also noted that the project’s implementation would have been impossible without strong support from Russian and Turkish leaders Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan.

The Akkuyu NPP with four VVER-1200 nuclear power units will be built in the province of Mersin on the Mediterranean coast. Russia and Turkey signed an agreement on the NPP’s construction in May 2010. Currently, the project is being fully financed by the Russian side.

It was reported earlier that Russian President Putin had arrived in Ankara on Tuesday to hold talks with Turkish leader Erdogan and take part in the ceremony of launching the Akkuyu NPP’s construction.