Turkish president hits back over possible US sanctions

Fri 20 Dec 2019 11:58 GMT | 15:58 Local Time

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Turkey’s president on Friday blasted the threat of U.S. sanctions on Turkish companies involved in a pipeline project as a “violation of our rights,” Anadolu Agency reported.

“Now they say ‘we will impose sanctions on TurkStream’,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters in Malaysia, where he attended this week’s Kuala Lumpur Summit of Muslim world leaders.

“This is a complete violation of our rights,” Erdogan said, vowing that Turkey would retaliate with sanctions on the U.S.

A defense budget passed by Congress this Tuesday included sanctions on companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 as well as TurkStream project, arguing the projects would make Europe dependent on Russia for energy.

The Nord Stream project -- operational since 2011 with an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters -- brings Russian gas directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea.

The Nord Stream 2, spearheaded by Russia's state-owned energy company Gazprom, is nearly completed and has the same annual capacity, running almost parallel to the first pipeline route.

Together they will meet the annual gas demands of a quarter of the European continent.

The TurkStream natural gas pipeline has a total capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters, out of which the first line will carry a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to Turkish consumers. The second line will carry another 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe via Turkey.

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