Russia, Turkey revive pipeline deal at international energy conference

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Oct. 10 (UPI) — The presidents of Russia and Turkey agreed on a long-delayed natural gas pipeline and continued healing a rift between the two countries stemming to the shooting down of a Russian jet by Turkey last year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to revive the pipeline project, and Putin lifted import barriers he enacted after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter near the Syrian border last year, the two leaders announced after meeting Monday at the World Energy Congress.

The pipeline, called the Turkish Stream, is set to run under the Black Sea to Turkey, and then to Greece, offering Russia a second path for sending its gas to Western Europe.

Putin’s trip to Turkey was the first since a Russian fighter jet was shot down, resulting in the death of its pilot, in November 2015. Putin agreed to lift import barriers on agricultural products from Turkey which were a direct response to the to jet being shot down.

The meeting was the third between Putin and Erdogan since a failed coup attempt against Erdogan earlier this year.

“The president and I have had a very full day, discussing Turkey-Russia relations,” Erdogan said at the press conference. “I am a firm believer that the normalization process between Turkey and Russia will go ahead full steam.”

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