Russia, Turkey OK Pipeline Deal, End Gas Dispute
Russian state gas giant Gazprom said Saturday it had signed a protocol with the Turkish government on a planned gas pipeline and agreed with Turkish firm Botas to end an arbitration dispute over the terms of gas supplies.
The protocol concerned the land-based part of the transit leg of the TurkStream gas pipeline, which Gazprom said meant that work to implement it could now begin.
Turkey had delayed issuing a permit for the Russian company to start building the land-based parts of the pipeline, which, if completed, would allow Moscow to reduce its reliance on Ukraine as a transit route for its gas supplies to Europe.
A source said in February the permit problem might be related to talks between Gazprom and Botas about a possible discount for Russian gas.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said earlier Saturday that Turkey and Russia had reached a retroactive agreement for a 10.25 percent discount on the natural gas Ankara buys from Moscow.
Gazprom said in the Saturday statement, without elaborating, that the dispute with Botas would be settled out of court.