President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday said Turkey and Russia have finalized the deal for the purchase of S-400 missile defense systems, adding that Russia has proved its sincerity by accepting for an early delivery.
Speaking at a news conference with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Erdoğan also touched on other agreements with Moscow and said investment in Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, which is being built by Russia’s Rosatom at Akkuyu on the Mediterranean coast, will exceed $20 billion.
Erdoğan added that the work on the second line of the TurkStream natural gas pipeline was continuing rapidly.
Russians make up the largest group of tourists to Turkey, he said, hoping for further increases as well as Russian relaxation of visa rules for Turkish citizens.
The Turkish president also said that Turkey and Russia share common concerns regarding the Syrian crisis and have agreed that terror groups such as YPG and Daesh have no future in the country.
Earlier on Tuesday, Erdoğan and Putin participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu. The plant will consist of four reactors with a capacity of 4,800 megawatts (MW) of installed power with each reactor having a 1,200-MW capacity.
Scheduled to be complete by 2023, marking the centennial of the Republic of Turkey, the Akkuyu NPP will produce approximately 35 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power annually, once completed. When operational, the power plant is estimated to meet around 10 percent of Turkey’s electricity demand, which equals to the power consumption of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest metropolis.
Meanwhile, Putin commented on the ongoing crisis over the issue of an ex-spy whose poisoning in Britain, saying he hopes that a meeting of the world’s chemical weapons watchdog would put a “full stop” to the crisis.
“We hope that during those discussions a full stop will be placed on (the issue of) what happened” to former spy Sergei Skripal, Putin said ahead of the meeting on Wednesday of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.