Kremlin: Turkish Gas Hub is Complex, Will Require Time

(Reuters) - Russia said on Monday that work to create a planned "gas hub" in Turkey was a complex project that would require time to come to fruition.

President Vladimir Putin proposed the idea of a Turkish gas hub - the exact details of which remain unclear - last year as European countries moved to sharply cut their imports of Russian gas in response to Russia's military actions in Ukraine.

"It is clear that this is quite complicated work, it is a rather complex project which, unfortunately, cannot be implemented without time shifts, without technical or other problems," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"Such situations are inevitable in relation to the Turkish hub. We will follow it; we will continue to work with our Turkish partners."

Peskov had first said in February that there could be delays with the plan as a result of the devastating earthquake that struck southeast Turkey and Syria.

Putin proposed the idea of a gas hub in Turkey after unexplained explosions damaged Nord Stream gas pipelines linking Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

Turkey, a NATO member state which has however maintained cordial relations with Russia amid the Ukraine crisis, currently imports all its gas needs and has extensive LNG import infrastructure. Ankara believes it can leverage its existing and new trade relations to become a gas hub.

Some Western capitals are concerned that any Turkish gas hub that includes Russian gas could allow Moscow to mask exports that are sanctioned by the West over its actions in Ukraine.


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