Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Istanbul on Wednesday to inaugurate the Turkish Stream (or TurkStream) pipeline, which will transport Russian fuel to Turkey through the Black Sea.
In addition, the Russian president, who arrived last night in Istanbul, is expected to speak with Erdogan about the situation in Syria and Libya, two countries shaken by armed conflicts in which forces from Turkey and Russia participate.
Agreed in 2014, the Turkish Stream pipeline crosses the Black Sea to the Turkish town of Kiyiköy, located in the northwest of the countries.
The Russian-Turkish plan is that gas will be exported to Bulgaria, Serbia, and other European countries in the future through this double pipe.
The opening ceremony will be attended by the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, and the Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boiko Borisov.
According to the CNNTürk station, before the ceremony, Putin and Erdogan will hold a bilateral meeting in which they will address the tense situation around the Syrian city of Idlib, the last insurgent stronghold in Syria that escapes the control of the regime’s forces. Down to the Assad, backed by Russia.
The humanitarian crisis resulting from the conflict in that area, where Turkey supports opposition militias, has forced the exodus of some 300,000 people, according to the UN.
Putin made a surprise visit to Damascus yesterday, where he approached the situation in northern Syria with the Syrian president after the Turkish military invasion to expel Kurdish militias from the area.
On the other hand, both leaders will discuss the situation in Libya after Turkey’s recent decision to support the government of the National Agreement (GNA) militarily, led by Fayez el Sarraj in Tripoli, against the militias of rebel general Jalifa Hafter.
Ankara’s intervention in Libya, which has already started this week with the shipment of 35 soldiers, could generate friction with Putin, as Moscow supports Hafter, an admiral who has launched an offensive for control of the capital, Tripoli, and already controls A large part of the territory of the Arab country.