Turkey, Azerbaijan 'to Finish TANAP before Planned Date'Southeast Europe | December 4, 2015, Friday // 06:28| views
Turkey's PM Ahmet Davutoglu. File photo, BGNES
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has announced Turkey and Azerbaijan's intentions to complete the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) ahead of schedule.
Initial estimates had suggested the project would be completed by 2018.
At a joint press conference with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, Davutoglu said the two countries would do "whatever is needed for the TANAP project", according to Anadolu News Agency.
His comments come less than a day after Moscow announced it was suspending Turkish Stream, a project it was to carry in Ankara designed to pump gas into Turkey. Agreement on the pipeline had been in limbo for months when Russia said it would not be carried out, amid tensions with Turkey following the downing of a Russian plane by the country's air forces last Tuesday.
TANAP is expected to carry some 16 billion cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan to Southern Europe as part of the so-called Southern Gas Corridor, with capacity projected to grow to 23 bcm by 2023 and 31 bcm by 2026.
Bulgaria has made clear it also plans to receiving gas from Azerbaijan via Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), a gas link with its southern neighbor which is expected to be in place over the next few years.
Against the backdrop of a meeting between Turkey and Russia's foreign ministers in Belgrade, Davutoglu called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to wind down bilateral tensions that have been building up in the last week.
Davutoglu stressed Turkey was ready to discuss every possible issue with Russia except for "the borders of the Republic of Turkey or its right to independence".
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