Gazprom chief strikes Turkish Stream deal with Ankara while Putin talks to Athens

Turkish Stream pipeline

The first section of Russia’s Turkish Stream pipeline will be ready by December 2016, state gas giant Gazprom’s press office announced yesterday, in a move that will eventually allow Russia to supply Europe with gas without using Ukraine’s transportation  infrastructure at all. The new pipeline will be laid under the Black Sea, and will stretch from Russia to the Greek -Turkish border. The first phase will provide gas to the south of Turkey, while another three lines will eventually transport gas through Greece to countries in south and central Europe. The pipeline is expected to have a total capacity of 63bn m³.
On the same day, meanwhile, President Putin held a phone conversation with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during the course of which he confirmed that he was ready to help Greece with the investment needed to build a connecting pipeline up to its northern border, probably in the form of an advance against future transit fees.