ISTANBUL, January 8. /TASS/. Russian and Turkish Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan have officially launched the TurkStream gas pipeline. The official launch ceremony took place at the Halic Congress Center in Istanbul.
The Russian delegation to the ceremony also includes Energy Minister Alexander Novak and CEO of the Russian energy giant Gazprom Alexei Miller who delivered reports before the official launch. Moreover, the event participants were shown a video presentation of the project. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov also attended the ceremony.
The TurkStream project is a pipeline consisting of two lines each capable of transmitting 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas annually. The first line is intended for the Turkish market, the second branch is going to supply the countries of Southern and Southeastern Europe. Gazprom considers Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary as potential markets.
Bulgaria began receiving Russian gas via TurkStream already on January 1, while North Macedonia and Greece started receiving Russian gas on January 5 through the compressor station of Strandja-2 in Bulgaria.
Talks between Bulgartransgaz and the Russian Gazprom Export company on gas transit through Bulgaria were completed in the last days on 2019. Bulgaria will annually receive 2.9 billion cubic meters of gas through the new gas transmission point - Strandja-2 compressor station. Owing to the fact that the country will not receive gas from Turkey, Sofia will be able to cut down transit expenses by around 35 million euros, while the gas will be cheaper by around 5%