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Russia and Turkey sign strategic Turkish Stream gas pipeline deal

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In May 2010, Russia and Turkey signed an agreement that a subsidiary of Rosatom -- Akkuyu NGS Elektrik Uretim Corp. (APC: Akkuyu Project Company) -- would build, own, and operate a power plant at Akkuyu comprising four 1,200 MW VVER units.

The agreement was ratified by the Turkish Parliament in July 2010. Engineering and survey work started at the site in 2011.

The construction of the first unit was scheduled to begin in 2016, with the four units put into service in 2022--25. In 2013, Russian nuclear construction company Atomstroyexport (ASE) and Turkish construction company Ozdogu signed the site preparation contract for the proposed Akkuyu nuclear power plant.

The contract includes excavation work at the site. The official launch ceremony took place in April 2015, and the first unit is expected to be completed in 2022.

Relations between Ankara and Moscow were strained after Turkey brought down a Russian military jet on Nov. 24, 2015 after it allegedly violated Turkey's airspace near the Syrian border.

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in December 2015, that the fate of the Akkuyu nuclear plant, which is planned to be built in Turkey by Russia, will be left to the companies involved in the project to decide.

Speaking at his annual press conference in Moscow, Putin said the decision over whether the Akkuyu nuclear power plant will be realized belongs to the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation, Rosatom, and its partners in Turkey. "Russia will not take any step that would harm its economic interests," he added.

The Russian president also spoke about the downing of a Russian warplane on Nov. 24. Putin said: "It cannot be said that we see Turkey as an enemy country, yet our relations deteriorated. I do not know how to get out of this situation," adding that it was up to Turkey from now on. "If Turkey thought that we would retreat from Syria following the downing of the plane, Russia is not that country," Putin added.

The thaw between Russio-Turkish relations began with the virtual apology of President Erdoganin June and accelerated after the abortive coup against President Erdogan in July last. Russia was among the first countries to condemn the coup attempt.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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