ANKARA— Ankara and Moscow will jointly work to build a natural gas hub in Turkey’s Thrace region after a Russian proposal earlier this week, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“For such a distribution center, of course, Thrace is considered the most important place for this activity,” Erdogan said on Thursday, referring to a region in northwestern Turkey near the Greek border. .
“Together with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, we asked our Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and the relevant institution on the Russian side to work together. They will do this job there,” Erdogan told reporters on the presidential plane returning from a trip to Kazakhstan.
“Wherever is the most suitable place, we hope to have established this distribution center there. We have a national distribution center, but of course now it will be an international distribution center,” Erdogan said.
On the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia summit in the Kazakh capital Astana, Erdogan previously held a closed-door meeting with Putin, who had proposed building a natural gas hub in Turkey.
Praising Turkey as “the most reliable partner” for gas deliveries to Europe, Putin said building a hub in Turkey would, among other things, regulate prices, sell gas at reasonable and exclude “politicization” from the issue.
Regarding the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war, Erdogan also told reporters that Ankara’s mediation between the two countries continues.
“As for Türkiye’s mediation, the trust that Russia and some other countries have in Türkiye remains the same,” Erdogan said, adding, “We also liked the continued trust in Türkiye.”
Turkey has been in close contact with Russia and Ukraine since the start of the war. Erdogan has repeatedly stressed his desire to bring Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy together at the negotiating table in Türkiye to end the war. — Agencies