Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin attend ceremony in Istanbul to mark completion of TurkStream's offshore section.
Changing the face of Europe's energy supply, the Turkish and Russian presidents on Monday celebrated the completion of the Turkstream gas pipeline through the Black Sea.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin attended a ceremony in Istanbul marking the completion of the construction of the offshore section of the TurkStream project, a gas pipeline that will carry Russian gas to Turkey and Europe.
Speaking at the ceremony, Erdogan said TurkStream natural gas pipeline project will be ready to operate in 2019 after tests are carried out.
TRT World's Caitlin McGee reports.
He said the gas project had many advantages not only for Turkey, but also for its region, and neighboring countries.
It's a joint project that will see a gas pipeline stretch across the Black Sea, linking Russia, Turkey and southeastern Europe.
The transit-free project through the Black Sea consists of two lines. The first line is intended for gas supplies to Turkish consumers, while the second will supply gas to southern and southeastern Europe.
Russia a 'reliable partner'
Erdogan called Russia a "reliable partner for Turkey" and an "important" natural gas provider that Turkey can cooperate with in the long run.
Erdogan said Turkey's goal was to reach a bilateral trade volume of $100B with Russia, adding that Turkey purchased 387 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia since 1987.
He said Turkey's solidarity with Russian president and people will pave way for bigger projects for both countries in the future.
"We have never adjusted the framework of our bilateral relations with Russia‚ based on the impositions of other countries. Instead, we have always been in a struggle for long-term collaborations with Russia." Erdogan said.
Moscow hopes to extend trade volume
On his part, Russian President Putin said his country wanted to reach $100 billion bilateral trade volume with Turkey.
Putin said the TurkStream will make Turkey an "important" center of natural gas and enhance the country in the region.
He said materialising such a project would be impossible without the mutual trust between the two countries.