Russia expects to reach agreement on gas hub project with Turkey soon -deputy PM

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Moscow and Ankara are set to reach agreement on the creation of a natural gas hub in Turkey in the nearest future, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Saturday.

He said Russia’s Gazprom and Turkey’s Botas were cooperating closely and had been discussing the project road map.

“I am sure that agreements on the practical implementation of this project will be reached in the near future,” Novak said in an interview with the TV channel Rossiya 24.

Russia last year proposed setting up a gas hub in Turkey to replace lost sales to Europe, playing into Ankara’s long-held desire to function as an exchange for energy-starved countries.

Discussions did not advance much, as Turkey suffered devastating earthquakes in February and focused on elections in May. Disagreements over who should be in charge of the hub also delayed negotiations, two sources familiar with the project told Reuters.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey)