Erdogan, Putin mark start of work on Turkey's first nuclear power plant

On Wednesday, Putin, Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are expected to hold a summit in the Turkish capital of Ankara to discuss Syria's future. "We made an agreement about the S-400s (with Russia) and this issue is now closed", he said.

"We are speeding up production, and we have finalized the prices, which is very important", Putin said, while standing next to Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"God willing we will continue to work together... to establish Syria's stability as well as its peace and security", said Erdogan. Aside from the power plant, the two countries are also building the "Turkstream" pipeline to transport Russian gas to Turkey.

Putin said it was chose to expedite the deliveries of S-400 missile defense systems to Turkey.

Their meeting comes as ties between Russia and the West are nosediving to post-Cold War lows after the March poisoning of Russian ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK.

"We are realising a number of strategic projects with the Russian Federation", said Erdogan.

"Companies are working on it", Putin said.

The Akkuyu nuclear power plant is the first BOO (build-own-operate) nuclear power plant project in the world.

The contract to build the Akkuyu plant was awarded to Russian State Nuclear Energy Agency Rosatom back in 2010, and it is due to be completed in 2023.

The project will have a total cost of approximately 20 billion dollars and a useful life of eight thousand hours per year, according to official sources told the Anadolu news agency.

Erdogan and Putin met eight times a year ago and regularly speak on the phone.

Turkey and Russian Federation have recently put aside their traditional rivalries and differences on regional issues to forge closer ties.

Moscow and Ankara are in close cooperation to eliminate terror in Syria as well as to end the 7 year-long conflict in the war-torn country in a short period of time, Erdogan added.

The Astana meetings have been internationally criticised for not including representatives from the West nor Syrian opposition groups, leading to solutions skewed towards pro-Assad Iran and Russian Federation.

  • Rogelio Becker