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Erdogan says Putin may visit Turkiye in April for power plant inauguration

March 30, 2023 at 5:39 pm

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) met President of Russia, Vladimir Putin (R) in Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) leaders’ summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan [Murat Kula – Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye’s President, Tayyip Erdogan, said on Wednesday his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, may visit Turkiye on 27 April for the inauguration of the country’s first nuclear power reactor built by Russia’s state nuclear energy company, Rosatom, Reuters reports.

“Maybe there is a possibility that Mr Putin will come on 27 April, or we may connect to the inauguration ceremony online and we will take the first step in Akkuyu,” Erdogan said in televised comments on private broadcaster, ATV.

Turkiye will load the first nuclear fuel into the first power unit of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant and officially grant it nuclear facility status on 27 April, Erdogan said in an earlier announcement on Wednesday.

READ: Putin and Erdogan discuss Ukraine, Syria 

The Kremlin, on Monday, denied Turkish reports that Putin was planning to visit Turkiye.

The Kremlin said on Saturday that Putin and Erdogan discussed during a phone call the successful implementation of joint strategic projects in the energy sector, including the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant.

The $20 billion, 4,800 megawatt (MW) project to build four reactors in the Mediterranean town of Akkuyu will allow Turkiye to join the small club of nations with civil nuclear energy.

Turkiye previously announced plans to launch the first reactor at Akkuyu in 2023.

Earlier this month, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Putin over alleged war crimes in Ukraine, prompting outrage from the Kremlin. But Turkiye is not a party to the Rome Statute, which created the ICC.

READ: Russia transfers $20bn to Turkiye for nuclear power plant