Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has long sought to turn his country into an energy hub, is expected to stand alongside Putin at the January 8 inauguration ceremony.
TurkStream is five years in the making at a cost of nearly $8 billion.
It will carry 31.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian gas annually to Turkey’s western province, with half of the volume flowing further to the Balkans and Central Europe, including Bulgaria, Serbia, and Hungary.
It’s part of Russia’s long-term goal to reduce or end gas transit through Ukraine with alternate pipeline projects such as, Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2.
Both connect to Germany underwater but the near-completion of Nord Stream 2 has been delayed due to U.S. sanctions.
Russia, which exported nearly 200 bcm to Europe last year, has been supplying gas to the Balkans and Turkey overland though Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania.
That gas in the future will be rerouted through TurkStream, consisting of 930 kilometers each under the Black Sea.
Putin’s arrival to Turkey comes straight from Syria, where he met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“The leaders heard military reports on development in various regions of the country,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.