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Putin could visit Turkey – Erdogan

The Turkish president expects his Russian counterpart to attend the opening of a nuclear power plant

Russian President Vladimir Putin may travel to Turkey for the opening ceremony of the country’s first nuclear power plant, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told local TV station A Haber on Wednesday. The Akkuyu facility was built in partnership with Russian state nuclear giant Rosatom.

The Russian leader will attend the inauguration in person or via video link on April 27, Erdogan said, describing the plant as one of Turkey’s “indispensable investments” that would help the country “seriously store energy” . Akkuyu’s first reactor will become operational later this year, while the entire plant will be operational by 2025. When completed, it will have four reactors capable of generating 4,800 megawatts.

The Turkish and Russian heads of state recently spoke by phone about collaboration between their two nations on strategic power engineering projects, including the Akkuyu plant and natural gas supply.

Erdogan thanked his Russian counterpart for their assistance after last month’s deadly earthquakes in Turkey, which has included the donation of construction materials and the deployment of Russian rescue personnel and a field hospital in Hatay province. The earthquakes, centered near the city of Gaziantep, killed about 50,000 people and injured many more.

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Türkiye gives timetable for gas center proposed by Russia

The Turkish leader also praised Russia’s “positive position regarding the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” according to a statement released Saturday by the Presidential Communications Directorate. The two countries signed an agreement with Ukraine and the United Nations last July to reopen grain exports from three of the Ukrainian ports that had been blocked since the start of Russia’s military operation last February, and agreement was extended last week.

As a NATO member nation with strong economic ties to Russia, Turkey is in a difficult position in the conflict seen by many as a proxy war between Russia and the military alliance that has injected tens of billions of dollars in arms to the Ukrainian military over the past year. However, Ankara and Moscow agreed in August to trade gas in rubles and hope to increase the volume of bilateral trade to $100 billion.

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