ANKARA, Turkey, April 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russia and Turkey have agreed to increase the capacity of the Blue Stream gas pipeline from 16 to 19 billion cubic meters per year, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz said at a press conference in Ankara Monday.
“We agreed with Russia on increasing capacity of the Blue Stream gas pipeline from 16 to 19 billion cubic meters per year,” said the minister, adding that Turkey will continue negotiations with Russia over a new contract regarding gas supplies for the private sector “at an affordable price.”
The talks between Yildiz and Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Head of Russian gas giant Gazprom, began Monday in the Turkish capital. The parties plan to discuss the gas price issue, the construction of the South Stream pipeline and the political crisis in Ukraine.
The Turkish minister earlier said that Ankara is expecting Russia to offer building a part of South Stream on Turkish territory.
The South Stream gas pipeline project was launched in 2012 to transport Russian natural gas across the Black Sea to Bulgaria and on to EU countries, bypassing Ukraine. It is expected to come online by 2018.
Russia currently supplies gas to Turkey, Moscow's second largest energy importer, through the so-called western corridor via Ukraine, Bulgaria and Romania, and directly via the Blue Stream pipeline in the Black Sea.