Putin Says Turkey Safe from Gas Crisis Thanks to TurkStream Pipeline

MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday that Turkey is shielded from a gas crisis, which has gripped Europe, thanks to the Russian-built TurkStream gas pipeline.

Speaking at the start of talks with Erdogan in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, Putin also thanked the Turkish president for his support of the pipeline, which runs to Turkey from Russia via the Black Sea.

"And now, when we see quite difficult, turbulent processes on the European gas market, Turkey is feeling absolutely confident and stable," Putin said in comments on TurkStream.

The on-land parts of the link stretch further to southern Europe and are part of Moscow's plans to bypass its political foe, Ukraine, in exporting gas to lucrative European markets.

Russia commissioned TurkStream with an annual capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters in early 2020.

Russian gas producer Gazprom has said it has increased total gas supplies to Turkey by almost 160% from the start of the year.

Nord Stream 2, a Russian-led subsea gas pipeline that crosses the Baltic Sea to Germany, was recently completed and is awaiting operating approval from German regulators.

Benchmark European gas prices at the Dutch TTF hub have increased more than fourfold since January due to low gas storage stocks, high EU carbon prices, low liquefied natural gas tanker deliveries and lower than expected Russian supplies.

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