Russia requires construction licenses for at least two lines of the proposed TurkStream pipeline project, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. The TurkStream pipeline replaces the cancelled South Stream project to carry Russian gas to Europe and Turkey via the Black Sea. At the moment, Europe gets a lot of its gas from Russia through Ukraine.
"It's not yet decided whether the intergovernmental agreement will encompass one leg or two legs or four, Novak told reporters on the sidelines of a G20 energy ministers' meeting in Istanbul. A license is required for each "leg" or section of the pipeline.
"We believe it will be feasible and viable for two legs as minimum. One leg for the Turkish consumers and the other leg for southern Europe."
Turkish officials have previously said a sticking point in talks about TurkStream, which is supposed to bring 63 billion cubic metres of gas a year to Turkey and southern Europe via Greece, has been Russia's insistence that Ankara grant permits for the construction work on four planned lines in the project. Turkey has so far only given licenses for the first line.
Another issue has been obtaining a final signature on a 10.25 percent price discount on the 28-30 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas Turkey buys from Russia that Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said was agreed upon and should have been in effect as of January 2015.
The Kremlin on the other hand said last month that discussions about TurkStream had been slowed due to Turkey's Nov. 1 parliamentary election.