Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced Tuesday that the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project would soon be ratified by Russia.
"We have discussed the TurkStream project. There are positive developments. Both sides have the will to realize this project. [...] We [Russia] will soon ratify it," Medvedev told a news conference with his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim in Moscow.
The TurkStream project, announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a Dec. 2014 visit to Turkey, will carry gas from Russia under the Black Sea to Turkey's Thrace region. One line, with 15.75 billion cubic meters of capacity, is expected to supply the Turkish market, while a second line intends to carry gas to Europe.
The agreement on the project entered into force through promulgation in the Turkish Official Gazette on Tuesday.
The General Assembly of the Turkish Parliament ratified the bill for the TurkStream agreement on Dec. 2 and it was consequently approved by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Medvedev said the European part of the project would continue to be discussed.
Turkish premier Yildirim, for his part, said this was an "important" project for energy security.
"We see the TurkStream as a regional project that will contribute to the energy security of Europe, not just Turkey and Russia," he said, adding the TurkStream would "strengthen" the strategic cooperation between the two countries.
Akkuyu nuclear power plant
About plans to build Turkey's first nuclear plant in southern Mersin province, Medvedev said: "The first phase of the project is planned to be commissioned in 2023, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey."
Medvedev went on to say Akkuyu was an "important and strategic" project for Russia, which would attract foreign investors.
Yildirim said Turkey also considered Akkuyu a "strategic project," and had taken the "necessary" steps for it.
"Our aim is to accelerate the project and complete the first phase before the 100th anniversary of the founding of Turkey," he added.
The agreement for the Akkuyu nuclear plant was signed in 2010. The plant plans to have 4,800 megawatts of capacity in four units and is anticipated to be operational by 2023.
Turkey plans to build a second nuclear plant in the central Black Sea province, Sinop, while a third one is expected to be built in Igneada on the western Black Sea coast.