Putin, Erdogan, RUSSIA TURKEY DIPLOMACY.jpg
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, outside St. Petersburg, Russia, 09 August 2016.
Photograph: EPA/ANATOLY MALTSEV

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that the proposed Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline, intended to connect southern Russia with Turkey, will be built as soon as possible, with the goal of extending it to Europe.

The pipeline, planned to connect to European Union member Greece, had not been fully approved by the Turkish leadership amid a deterioration in Russian-Turkish ties connected with the Syrian civil war, in which they back opposing sides.

Erdogan made the comments in St Petersburg after his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin since a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian warplane on the Syrian border last year.

Both leaders expressed that restoring their previously robust bilateral relations is a priority.

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