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MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia could redirect supplies intended for the damaged Nord Stream pipelines to the Black Sea to create a European gas hub in Turkey, or even use the one intact part of Nord Stream 2 to supply the EU.

An investigation is under way into explosions last month that ruptured the Russian-built Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines on the bed of the Baltic Sea.

Putin said it was possible to repair the pipelines and that Russia and Europe should decide their fate.

“We could move the lost volumes from the Nord Streams along the bottom of the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea region and thus make the main routes for the supply of our fuel, our natural gas to Europe through Turkey, creating the largest gas hub for Europe in Turkey,” he told an energy conference in Moscow.

“That is, of course, if our partners are interested in this. And economic feasibility, of course.”

Putin says ‘ball in EU court’ on restarting Nord Stream deliveries

The problem is that European Union countries are trying to end their reliance on Russian oil and gas after Putin sent troops into Ukraine as part of what he calls a special military operation. Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez, speaking at the same conference in Moscow, said the idea was new to him but should be discussed.

“It is the first time we’ve heard this. Thus it is early to make an assessment,” Donmez said. “These are things that need to be discussed.”

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