The construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant was launched on Tuesday with a ceremony attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart. Moscow is helping Ankara build the power plant, which should eventually supply 10 percent of Turkey’s electricity needs.

Erdogan and Putin

Erdogan and Putin Photo Credit: Russian Presidential Press and Information Office

Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Turkey on Tuesday for the groundbreaking ceremony of Turkey’s first nuclear power station, which will be built with the help of Moscow. The Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant is slated to begin working in 2023.

The ceremony was also attended by Putin’s Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. At the ceremony, Putin said that the power plant project will be a symbol of the strong Turkish-Russian relationship once completed, according to the Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper. Erdogan also spoke at the ceremony, saying that the plant will eventually cover 10 percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Tomorrow, Putin will be in Ankara for a three-way summit with Erdogan and their Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani. The talks will focus on the war in Syria. All three countries are heavily involved in the war-torn Arab state and currently sponsoring peace efforts to bring the conflict to an end.