Putin to Attend 2018 Inauguration of Turkish Nuclear Power Plant

Erdogan said construction will begin 'very soon,' but the $20 billion project is likely to miss its 2023 open date

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks in Ankara on Thursday, January 11, 2018.
Yasin Bulbul/ AP

Construction on Turkey's first nuclear power plant will begin in 2018, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, adding that the plant's inauguration would be held "very soon" with Russian President Vladimir Putin

Earlier this month, sources said the $20 billion project was likely to miss its 2023 target start-up date as Russian builder Rosatom struggled to find local partners. 

Erdogan was speaking at an energy ceremony in Ankara. 

After helping turn the tide of the war in Syria in favor of its ally, President Bashar Assad, Russia has cast itself as a Middle East peace broker.

The European Union appealed last month to foreign ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey urging them to uphold a cease-fire in eastern Ghouta and allow aid into besieged areas.