For the laying of the foundation stone for the third reactor of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, both were connected by video: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russia’s head of state Vladimir Putin used the opportunity to praise the cooperation between the two countries.
On Wednesday, Putin described the nuclear power plant as an expression of a “friendship” between Moscow and Ankara. Erdoğan called the building a »strategic step« to secure the country’s future in terms of energy.
The nuclear power plant is being built near the village of Akkuyu on the Turkish south coast. In May 2010, the governments in Ankara and Moscow signed an agreement on this. The Russian state-owned company Rosatom is in charge.
The first of four reactors is scheduled to go into operation in 2023. After completion, the nuclear power plant will cover around ten percent of Turkey’s energy needs – roughly the consumption of the metropolis of Istanbul.
Due to the lack of its own energy reserves, Turkey has to import a large part of the demand. It is one of the largest customers for Russian natural gas. Putin said on Wednesday that hundreds of Turks were being trained as “national cadres” to operate the power plant at Russian universities.