Russia will consider constructing additional lines on the TurkStream gas pipeline, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday.
“This is one of the options to be considered. The idea will be worked on,” Novak said at the Russian Energy Week event.
Carrying natural gas from Russia to Türkiye and further into Europe, the TurkStream pipeline was formally launched in January 2020.
The pipeline, which allows Moscow to bypass Ukraine as a transit route to Europe, carries Russian gas to Southern Europe through the Black Sea and Türkiye.
Novak’s remarks came after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal for a European gas hub in Türkiye.
Putin said that Russia could redirect supplies intended for the damaged Nord Stream pipelines to the Black Sea to create the hub in Türkiye, or even use the one intact part of Nord Stream 2 to supply the European Union.
Novak also said that security measures at the TurkStream had been “stepped up” after Putin on Monday accused Ukraine of trying to “blow up” one of the sections of the pipeline.
The pipeline has an annual capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) and consists of two 930-kilometer (577.88-mile) offshore lines and two separate onshore lines that are 142 and 70 kilometers long.
The first line with a capacity of 15.75 bcm is designated for supplies to Türkiye’s domestic customers. The downlink to Türkiye carries gas to several European countries, including Serbia and Hungary.
On Putin’s proposal, Türkiye’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez on Wednesday said the idea was new to him but should be discussed.
“It is the first time we’ve heard this. Thus it is early to make an assessment,” Dönmez said on the sidelines of the Russian Energy Week event. “These are things that need to be discussed.”
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller praised the Turkstream pipeline, noting it was much deeper than Nord Stream.
“As for the hub, there is no doubt that we can consider the issue of a trading platform on the border of the European Union and Türkiye,” Miller said.