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Erdogan outlines Türkiye’s gas ambitions

Istanbul is poised to become an important international energy hub, the country’s president says

Türkiye is turning into a major natural gas hub upon which numerous foreign countries will be able to rely in the future, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday, adding that its balanced stance on the Ukraine conflict has helped Ankara to avert an energy crisis.

During a speech at an event in the eastern Turkish province of Malatya, Erdogan lambasted the opposition, which had urged him to pick a side in the Ukrainian crisis. He said if Ankara had refused to engage in dialogue with both Moscow and Kiev, it would have found itself in the same vulnerable position as the European Union.

“The whole world appreciated our balanced policy that we displayed in the face of this crisis. If the country was in [the opposition’s] hands, I don’t know how we would have spent this winter,” Erdogan stated.

He said Ankara had chosen another way in terms of energy security, and it will not have any problems with gas, adding that “Istanbul will be a major hub for natural gas.”

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Türkiye reveals decision on Russian gas hub plan

Erdogan’s remarks followed his announcement on Wednesday that he had accepted a proposal by his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to create an international natural gas hub in the country.

The two leaders discussed the matter last week during a summit in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana. The Russian leader suggested redirecting gas from the Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic Sea, which were damaged by blasts last month in apparent acts of sabotage, through Turkey.

Meanwhile, many Western countries, including the US, were not happy about the proposal. On Wednesday, US State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel reiterated that Washington continues “to urge our allies to take steps to diversify their energy sources, to reduce energy reliance on Russia.”

This statement was echoed by French President Emmanuel Macron, who claimed that the proposal to turn Türkiye into a gas hub “makes no sense,” given that Europe aims to wean itself off Russian energy.

https://ift.tt/e0vhYZ9 23, 2022 at 09:04PM
from RT – Daily news

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