Erdoğan says he agreed with Putin on Turkey becoming natural gas hub

Turkey's President Erdoğan has said that he agreed with his Russian counterpart Putin on Turkey becoming a natural gas hub during their last meeting.

Anadolu Agency - Duvar English

Turkey will be a natural gas hub after having agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Oct. 19.

"Turkey will be a hub for natural gas as well. In our last meeting, we agreed with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin on this issue. We will create a hub here with Turkish gas coming from Russia," Erdoğan said at the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) group meeting in the capital Ankara.

"And in his own words, Putin announced to the world that 'Europe can get its natural gas from Turkey'," Erdoğan added.

Erdoğan said concerns are rising in Western countries amid energy crises, adding that Turkey "does not have such a problem."

Putin said on Oct. 12 that Russia could redirect supplies intended for the damaged Nord Stream pipelines to the Black Sea to create a European gas hub in Turkey.

Last week, on the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit in the Kazakh capital Astana, Erdoğan held a closed-door meeting with Putin, who had proposed building a natural gas hub in Turkey.

After the meeting, Erdoğan announced that Ankara and Moscow will work jointly on building a natural gas hub in Turkey's Thrace region after a Russian proposal.

NATO member Turkey has close relations with both Ukraine and Russia and has sought to balance ties during the conflict in Ukraine, rejecting Western sanctions on Moscow while criticising Russia for what the Kremlin calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine and supplying Kyiv with armed drones.

Along with the United Nations, Turkey brokered the July deal to unlock Ukrainian grain exports from its Black Sea ports, in what remains the only significant diplomatic breakthrough in the seven-month-old conflict.

Ankara's relations with Russia are complex, with the two countries cooperating closely on energy supplies while being at odds over Syria, Libya and Azerbaijan.