OREANDA-NEWS Turkey has ensured a reliable supply of Russian natural gas to Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, adding that European nations should be grateful to Ankara for that.

During a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Putin named the TurkStream pipeline as one of the most important arteries for delivering Russian gas to Europe.

The Russian president praised the reliability of the pipeline, for which the Europeans should be grateful.

“The Turkish Stream, unlike all other routes of our hydrocarbon supplies, works properly, works smoothly, without any failures. […] I think our European partners should be grateful to Turkey for ensuring uninterrupted transit of our gas to the European market,” Putin said.

TurkStream consists of two parallel lines running under the Black Sea from Russia and joins Turkey’s gas transportation network and sends Russian gas onward to Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary. The route has been unaffected by the developments around Ukraine and the anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the EU but rejected by Turkey.

The main pipeline between Russia and the EU – Nord Stream 1, which carries gas to Germany – has been operating at 20% capacity recently due to equipment issues caused by sanctions. Meanwhile, additional routes via Ukraine’s gas transportation network have been restricted by Kiev. Deliveries via the Yamal-Europe pipeline continue, although Gazprom stopped using the Polish leg of the pipeline in May due to sanctions.