Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the idea of creating a Turkish “gas hub” with Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan during a phone call, Reuters reported on Friday, citing the Kremlin.
Putin first proposed creating a gas base in Turkey in October as a means to redirect supplies from the damaged Nord Stream pipelines and export them on to the European market, an idea that Erdoğan has supported.
The idea raised the immediate alarm of European powers such as France, with President Emmanuel Macron’s office saying it made “no sense.”
Russia already supplies Turkey with gas via the TurkStream link under the Black Sea.
The Kremlin said the two sides also discussed the agreed extension of the Black Sea grain deal, an agreement that Turkey helped broker to ensure the safe passage of grain exports from blockaded Ukrainian ports.
“Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasised the importance of a comprehensive and complete implementation of this ‘package’ agreement,” the Kremlin said.
Gas prices have skyrocketed since the beginning of Russia’s war, and Europe has struggled to find alternative energy supplies after Russia strangled deliveries in response to Western sanctions.
The latest spike came after a series of blasts this month destroyed both lines of Russia’s Nord Stream pipeline to Germany.