Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that dealing with Turkey is easier than the European Union.
Comparing the construction of the Nord Stream II and TurkStream pipelines at a news conference with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen in the Black Sea city of Sochi, Putin said: "It is easier to work with Turks".
"[Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan has decided and has done. And here [in the EU] we need 27 countries to agree, it lasts for years and nothing happens," Putin said.
Nevertheless, Putin added, the Nord Stream 2 project will conclude despite obstacles, including U.S. counter-action.
Turning to international agenda, Putin regretted the dismantling of the Iran nuclear deal.
"We regret that the agreement is being destroyed. Our position is known to all partners, including the American ones, and we supported the preservation of this agreement. Iran, after signing of the treaty, is the most verifiable and most transparent country in the world in this sense," he said.
Van der Bellen agreed with Putin, saying that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had confirmed Iran's compliance with the deal 13 times.
He voiced concern that a U.S.-Iran confrontation could turn into an Iraq-like situation, referring to the 2003 U.S. invasion, adding that no one wants such a scenario.
Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew his country from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany).
Shortly afterward, Washington re-imposed economic sanctions on Iran targeting the country’s energy and banking sectors.
By Elena Teslova in Moscow