President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Alexei Miller, the head of Russian energy giant Gazprom, discussed the project to make Türkiye a gas hub and Russian gas supplies, in a meeting held in Istanbul on Friday.
Putin first proposed creating a gas base in Türkiye in October as a means to redirect supplies from the damaged Nord Stream pipelines and export them on to the European market, an idea that Erdoğan has supported.
Putin has repeatedly said that a natural gas hub could be set up in Türkiye fairly quickly, forecasting many European customers would emerge in such a marketplace.
Erdoğan previously said Russian and Turkish energy authorities would work together to designate the best location for the potential gas distribution center, adding that Türkiye’s Thrace region, bordering Greece and Bulgaria, appeared to be the best spot.
Türkiye is home to seven international natural gas pipelines and one of the ways Russian gas reaches Europe is through the dual TurkStream natural gas pipeline. With a total capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters (bcm), each line has an annual capacity of 15.75 bcm.
The European Union, which previously turned to Russia for about 40% of its gas needs, is seeking to wean itself off Russian energy following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.