Russian Corporation Opens First Nuclear Plant in Turkey

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

Iran and Russian Federation, which support the Syrian government in the crisis, and Turkey, which backs the moderate opposition, have been in close cooperation through a series of talks aimed at finding a solution to the Syrian conflict since previous year. As a raft of countries join together to punish Moscow, Erdogan says Ankara will not take similar measures and that the charge is "based on allegation".

Turkey and Russian Federation have put aside their traditional rivalries and differences on regional issues to forge strong economic ties. The two presidents attended the ceremony to launch the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant.

Last week, Turkey announced it would not be following North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and European Union allies in ousting Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning in Britain of a former Russian spy.

The Turkish President also highlighted the "important" relations with Russia in the last 15 years, referring to a deal with Moscow to purchase long-range S-400 missile defense systems as well as the Turkstream natural gas pipeline plans to transport Russian gas.

In addition to relations on regional issues, Ankara and Moscow have have been working on boosting economic ties that were damaged following Turkey's downing of a Russian fighter jet operating in Syria, after it violated Turkish airspace in November 2015.

Regarding the upcoming trilateral summit in the Turkish capital Ankara, the presidential aide said Turkish, Russian and Iranian leaders are expected to make a joint statement.

The project was launched with Erdogan declaiming "in the name of God!" and work immediately began on the site, with the first concrete pouring as celebratory fireworks were let off.

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"This is completely a new step, a new step towards the development of Turkey's economy", the Russian president said.

The Akkuyu NPP will produce 35 billion kilowatts of electricity at full capacity, which will meet about 10 percent of Turkey's electricity needs.

"We face the ambitious goal of launching the first reactor in 2023 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey", Mr Putin said during Tuesday's ceremony.

Mr Putin hailed the project as a symbol of growing co-operation between Russian Federation and Turkey.

But Putin refused to discuss the issue saying "these are exclusively commercial questions" rather than political ones.

Turkey signed an agreement to buy the S-400 system in late December in a move which raised concern in the West because it can not be integrated into NATO's military architecture.

"We have made an agreement regarding the S-400s".

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