Gas exports to Turkey from Russia, previously transferred via the Western line, will now be finalized for transmission through the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project, the Kremlin announced on Wednesday.
According to the intergovernmental agreement on TurkStream, which was published on the Russian government's website, the Western line will be decommissioned when the first line of the TurkStream becomes operational.
Currently, Russia transits Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria through the Western line to transfer gas to Turkey.
The Kremlin stressed that the natural gas exports to Turkey will be unaffected by the proposed route change, and noted that contracts via the Bulgarian route through the Western line, should soon be regulated.
Russia exported a total of 24.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas last year through the Western line via Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria and through the Blue Stream to Turkey via the Black Sea.
The first line of the TurkStream is expected to be commissioned at the end of 2019 as the offshore construction of the project will start in the coming months.
Reporting By E. Gurkan Abay in Moscow
Writing By Murat Temizer