ANKARA, Turkey, April 21 (UPI) -- Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Monday his country agreed to increase gas capacity through the Blue Stream pipeline by more than 18 percent.
Yildiz said Monday from Ankara his country would take on more natural gas from Russia at what he said was an affordable price.
"We agreed with Russia on increasing capacity of the Blue Stream gas pipeline from 565 billion to 670 billion cubic feet per year," he said
Russian energy company Gazprom counts Turkey as its second-largest energy importer.
The 754-mile Blue Stream stretches across the Black Sea. Turkey serves as a major regional energy hub, hosting portions of the second-longest oil pipeline in the world, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan.
Turkey will also host a rival European gas network from Azerbaijan, which the European Union sees as a way to break Russia's grip on the regional energy sector.
The Kremlin says European energy security is at risk because of lingering geopolitical conflicts over Ukraine, which hosts the bulk of Russia's gas bound for Europe.
In 2010, Gazprom increased the flow of gas through Blue Stream in response to attacks by the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party on an Iranian pipeline to Turkey.