Russia, Turkey to Extend Natural Gas Deal

SOCHI, Russia (AP)–Russia and Turkey have agreed to extend a contract on natural gas supplies with the construction of a new pipeline that will carry an additional 10 billion cubic meters of Russian gas annually to Turkey, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Saturday.

The current agreement to supply Turkey annually with about 6 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia is scheduled to end in 2012, Putin said. He spoke at a televised joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

No details were given about the extension, or where and when it would be signed.

Turkey is supplied with gas from Russia via Blue Stream, a $3.2 billion pipeline that opened in 2005 and tunnels under the Black Sea separating the two countries.

Separate talks will continue on building a second branch of the pipeline, known as Blue Stream II, Putin said.

The proposed new pipeline is expected to expand Russia’s output capacity to Turkey by 10 billion cubic meters annually. Plans call for it to enable gas deliveries to countries in the Middle East, Israel and other nations.

Putin also said Russian companies were ready to help construct four nuclear power plants in Turkey.

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