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Key energy deal seals Russia-Turkey reconciliation

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By Euronews
Key energy deal seals Russia-Turkey reconciliation

Ties between Russia and Turkey continue to strengthen.

Meeting in Istanbul on Monday, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on a project to build an undersea pipeline to get Russian gas to Turkey and then onto Europe.

Ministers signed the TurkStream accord on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress.

It is the latest sign of rapprochement since Ankara expressed regret for shooting down a Russian fighter plane over the Turkish-Syrian border last November.

The TurkStream pipeline will allow Moscow to strengthen its position in the European gas market and cut energy supplies via Ukraine, the main route for Russian energy into Europe.

Despite deep differences on the Syrian conflict, the Russian and Turkish leaders were keen to show they are seeking common ground.

Erdogan said he and his Russian counterpart had discussed cooperation, especially for the people of Aleppo and what sort of strategy could be applied to bring peace to the area.

While Turkey backs rebels fighting the Syrian regime, Russia is supporting President Assad with a massive air campaign.

Nonetheless, Putin said:

“We have a joint position when it comes to doing everything to deliver humanitarian aid to Aleppo.

“The question is over the provision of security for delivering this aid – to avoid provocations with the bombing of humanitarian convoys.”

Russia denies its warplanes were behind last month’s deadly air strike on an aid convoy near Aleppo.

Moscow’s warming relations with NATO member Turkey come as both countries deal with troubled economies and strained ties with the West.