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France says Putin’s proposal for new gas hub in Turkey makes ‘no sense’

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The French presidency on Thursday snubbed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal to build a new gas hub in Turkey to supply Europe, saying it made “no sense,” Agence France-Presse reported.

“There is no sense in creating new infrastructures that allow more Russian gas to be imported,” the presidency said.

Putin made the offer to Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at a face-to-face meeting in Kazakhstan earlier on Thursday.

“Turkey has turned out to be the most reliable route for deliveries today, even to Europe,” the Russian leader said. “We could consider the possibility of creating a gas hub in Turkey for supplies to other countries.”

Deliveries to Europe, which is overwhelmingly dependent on Russian gas, have been disrupted by Moscow’s February invasion of Ukraine.

The West accuses Putin of trying to blackmail Europe over a slew of sanctions and creating leaks at key pipelines something Moscow denies.

Europe is trying to wean itself off Russian gas, whose shortage has caused energy prices to spiral on the continent.

The French presidency pointed to the fall in Russian gas imports to Europe from nearly 40 percent a few months earlier to 7.5 percent today.

“It is likely to fall further,” it added.

“Russia and Turkey may decide together to export more gas, but it cannot be to the European Union, which has commitments to sovereignty, to reducing its dependency and also to the climate transition,” it said.

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