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Russia Says It Will Begin TurkStream Gas Pipeline Construction Next Year

Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak attends a press conference during the 23rd World Energy Congress on October 12.

Construction of the TurkStream natural gas pipeline in the Black Sea will begin next year, Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak has said.

"Everything needed for the current work has been approved," Novak told reporters on a visit to Istanbul, noting that the deadline for finishing construction of the project is the end of 2019.

The pipeline will carry Russian natural gas to Southeastern Europe, possibly including European Union member state Greece. It was initially proposed two years ago but fell by the wayside as Russian-Turkish relations soured over the conflict in Syria.

Now, with economic growth stalled in both countries, Moscow and Ankara are trying to restore their relations with an eye toward reviving mutual trade.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, signed an agreement to build the pipeline this week while Putin was in Istanbul.

Based on reporting by dpa and TASS