The TurkStream gas pipeline is one of the world’s biggest gas transport systems and has serious potential for expansion, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.
“Türkiye is currently one of the largest recipients of Russian gas, and we are now connected with Türkiye by one of the largest gas pipeline systems, TurkStream, which has serious potential for expansion if necessary,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow.
Peskov said matters of energy cooperation were controlled at the highest level between the two countries and that there were also constant contacts at the working level.
Noting that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have both expressed interest in building a gas hub in Türkiye, Peskov said the details of the project were being worked out.
An important part of the issue is related to the sale of gas, with the future of the project to become clear once it is settled, he said.
Peskov noted that European countries may hold different positions on the possibility of purchasing Russian gas through a hub in Türkiye.
On Russia-Türkiye relations, Peskov said Ankara had its own, independent position on world affairs, different from that of the West, and remains open to mediating between Moscow and Kyiv as it follows its national interests in trade and economic relations with Russia.
“Türkiye has not joined the sanctions of the collective West, and in this regard (Ankara’s position) compares favorably both for the Turkish people themselves and from the point of view of our bilateral relations,” he said.
Turning to the appointment of Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Peskov said Russia sees “no prerequisites, no grounds, no hopes” for building more constructive relations with the UK in the foreseeable future, no matter who assumes the position of the head of the UK government.
Welcoming prospects for French President Emmanuel Macron engaging with Pope Francis and the US to search for ways to end the conflict in Ukraine.
However, Peskov noted that Macron’s statement made no mention of a recent law passed by Ukraine to prohibit negotiations with Russia, nor the need to urge Kyiv to repeal it.
Commenting on the US reaction to Russia’s Defense Ministry warning that Ukraine could use “a dirty bomb” — an explosive device with radioactive components — Peskov said Washington’s approach was “far from being serious.”
“Once again, we emphasize the great danger that lies in the implementation of the very plans that Ukrainians have fixed,” the Russian official stressed.
Commenting on plans by Poland to build a wall on its border with Russia, Peskov said: “History proves every time the stupidity of decisions about the construction of walls, because over the years or decades all the walls fall.”
Asked about the possibility of a prisoner swap for the head of Ukrainian aircraft engine manufacturer Motor Sich, who was arrested in Ukraine over charges of cooperating with Russia, Peskov said the Kremlin does not handle prisoner exchanges.
On Oct. 23, Ukraine’s Security Service announced that Vyacheslav Boguslayev had been charged with “collaboration” and “working for Russia.” The next day, a court in Kyiv arrested him for two months.