Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Ukraine of launching drone strikes on the TurkStream and Blue Stream gas pipelines, which carry Russian gas to Türkiye, in an escalation of the ongoing conflict between the two countries.
Putin said the attacks were part of a series of “terrorist acts” carried out by Ukrainian special services against Russia’s critical infrastructure, including energy systems. He said the strikes damaged some sections of the pipelines, but did not disrupt the gas supply to Türkiye.
“These are blatant acts of aggression and sabotage, aimed at undermining our strategic partnership with Türkiye and destabilizing the region,” Putin said in a televised address on Monday.
He said Russia would take “all necessary measures” to protect its interests and security, and urged Türkiye to join him in condemning Ukraine’s actions.
Putin’s allegations came hours before he was scheduled to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi. The meeting was expected to focus on reviving the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a deal that allowed Ukraine to export grain through the Turkish Straits in exchange for humanitarian aid and fuel.
Russia quit the deal in July, claiming that Ukraine was not fulfilling its obligations and that the West was imposing unfair restrictions on Russian food and fertilizer exports. Since then, Moscow has intensified its military campaign against Kyiv, launching frequent attacks on Ukrainian ports and towns along the Danube River and in eastern Ukraine.
Türkiye has not yet commented on Putin’s claims, but has expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in the region. Erdoğan has said he hopes to restore the grain deal with Russia, as it is vital for Turkey’s food security and economic development.
Türkiye is one of the largest importers of Russian gas, receiving about 16 billion cubic meters per year through the TurkStream and Blue Stream pipelines. The TurkStream pipeline was inaugurated in January 2020, and consists of two lines that run under the Black Sea from Russia to Türkiye. The Blue Stream pipeline was launched in 2003, and also crosses the Black Sea from Russia to Türkiye.