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Russia and Turkey ink pipeline agreement, end gas dispute

Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Berat Albayrak (R) and CEO of Russian energy company Gazprom, Alexey Miller during a press conference at Mabeyn Palace in Istanbul, Turkey on October 10, 2016 [Metin Pala / Anadolu Agency]
Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Berat Albayrak (R) and CEO of Russian energy company Gazprom, Alexey Miller during a press conference at Mabeyn Palace in Istanbul, Turkey on October 10, 2016 [Metin Pala / Anadolu Agency]

Reuters reports Russian state gas giant Gazprom said on Saturday it had signed a protocol with the Turkish government on a planned gas pipeline and agreed with Turkish firm Botas to end an arbitration dispute over the terms of gas supplies.

The protocol concerned the land-based part of the transit leg of the TurkStream gas pipeline, which Gazprom said meant that work to implement it could now begin.

Turkey had delayed issuing a permit for the Russian company to start building the land-based parts of the pipeline which, if completed, would allow Moscow to reduce its reliance on Ukraine as a transit route for its gas supplies to Europe.

A source said in February the permit problem might be related to talks between Gazprom and Botas about a possible discount for Russian gas.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said earlier on Saturday Turkey and Russia had reached a retroactive agreement for a 10.25 percent discount on the natural gas Ankara buys from Moscow.

Gazprom said in the Saturday statement, without elaborating, that the dispute with Botas would be settled out of court.

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