Putin, Erdogan launch construction of Turkey´s first nuclear power plant

The Mavi Marmara is towed by a tugboat as it leaves the port of the northern city of Haifa

The Mavi Marmara is towed by a tugboat as it leaves the port of the northern city of Haifa

'In the name of God!' Erdogan said standing next to Putin at the presidential palace in Ankara before fireworks launched to mark the event.

"We are also in close cooperation with Russian Federation to end as soon as possible the terror threat and clashes in Syria", said Erdogan.

Erdogan said that Turkish energy sector - which is still predominantly based on petroleum, natural gas and coal- would be healthier along with the Akkuyu NPP, Anadolu Agency reports.

Turkish and Russian delegations also met Tuesday for the Turkey-Russia High-Level Cooperation Council, which was attended by the presidents of the two countries and several ministers in order to enhance bilateral relations.

In December, they finalized an agreement for Turkey to purchase Russia's long-range S-400 missile defense system, a deal that raised eyebrows among some of Turkey's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies. The three countries are sponsoring a series of negotiations to end the seven-year-long war.

On Tuesday, April 3, Putin held talks in Ankara with his Turkish counterpart Recep Erdogan.

For his part, Putin said Russian Federation was a leading country in the nuclear energy sector.

Last month, sources familiar with the matter said Akkuyu was likely to miss its 2023 target start-up date, but Rosatom, which is looking for local partners to take a 49 percent stake in the project, said it is committed to the timetable.

"This innovative project is highly valuable and important".

The statement on Monday came one day after the President visited Turkish soldiers at an outpost in Turkey's Hatay province bordering Syria, Xinhua news agency reported.

He pointed out that the nuclear power plant would enhance Turkey's potential in science and technology and provide Turkish consumers with clean and low-priced electricity.

"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. At the ceremony, Putin said that the power plant project will be a symbol of the strong Turkish-Russian relationship once completed, according to the Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper.

The nuclear plant which will be built on the Mediterranean coast is expected to cost approximately $20 billion.

"The agreement will see both parties contribute $500 million to the Fund. Investments will be made in projects that strengthen trade, economic and investment ties between Russian Federation and Turkey".

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