Russian Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, said that Moscow has sent a draft intergovernmental agreement to Turkey on a natural gas pipeline under the Black Sea to Greece. Novak expects Ankara to decide on the project within a few months, as it is planned to kickoff by the end of 2019, Bloomberg reported.
The Kremlin-backed Gazprom will build two links to Turkey, one serving the Turkish consumers and the other one planned for Southern Europe.
Top executives from the company were in Turkey, late August, to resume work on the potentially divisive gas pipeline to the European Union. The Turkish Stream pipeline was designed to replace South Stream, a pipeline from Russia to Bulgaria, according to EU Observer.
The project has faced some challenges, as the European Commission criticized the Turkish Stream pipeline because it would force EU states, such as Greece, to build new infrastructure to connect to Turkey, while abandoning existing transit pipelines to Ukraine. Furthermore, in 2015, project discussions halted after Turkey shot down a Russian jet which crossed into its airspace from Syria.