Published: Wed, April 04, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Putin and Erdogan launch Turkey's first nuclear reactor

Putin and Erdogan launch Turkey's first nuclear reactor

Turkey, which is a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and once courted membership of the European Union, has pivoted towards Russian Federation in recent years. Putin and Erdogan have met several times in the past year and regularly speak on the phone.

Turkey in turn, accuses European Union countries of supporting Kurdish rebels as well as the alleged perpetrators of the 2016 failed coup.

The Akkuyu plant, comprising four units, each with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts, will be built by the Russian State Nuclear Energy Agency, Rosatom. When Akkuyu starts operating with all its reactors we will cover 10% of our country's electrical needs.

The ceremony was also attended by Putin's Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. TWF's mission is to develop Turkey's strategic assets, to grow their value and thereby to provide funding for Turkey's priority investments.

Turkey's Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan's son-in-law, praised the Akkuyu project saying: 'We are standing at a crucial juncture in realising the 63-year dream'.

"We are witnessing a historic moment in terms of the development of our country and cooperation with Russian Federation on energy", Erdogan said, adding that Turkey is determined to boost cooperation with Russian Federation on regional issues.

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The warming relations between the two countries stand in contrast to the souring relations between Russia and the West over the poisoning in Britain of a Russian ex-spy.

Last week, Turkey announced it would not be following North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and European Union allies in ousting Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning in Britain of a former Russian spy.

Erdogan also said the number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey has reached 4.7 million people and is expected to reach 6 million next year.

Putin then said he and Erdogan had made a decision to "speed up" the delivery of S-400 air defence missile systems to Ankara, a purchase that has raised concerns among Turkey's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners. All three countries are heavily involved in the war-torn Arab state and now sponsoring peace efforts to bring the conflict to an end.

The talks will focus on the war in Syria.

Russian Federation and Turkey are also building the TurkStream gas pipeline under the Black Sea that will allow Moscow to pump gas to Europe avoiding Ukraine and increase Turkey's importance as a transit hub.

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