Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan signed on Thursday agreements on cooperation in the gas sphere.

The gas cooperation agreement stipulates, in particular, Turkish consent for the construction of the South Stream pipeline in its territorial waters.

"[The South Stream gas pipeline] is particularly important in the context of supplying energy to all of Europe and developing the whole range of contacts between Russia and Turkey," Putin said after talks in Ankara.

The South Stream project is designed to annually pump 31 billion cubic meters of Central Asian and Russian gas to the Balkans and onto other European countries along the bed of the Black Sea, with the pipeline''s capacity expected to be eventually increased to 63 billion cubic meters.

Putin reiterated Russia''s stance that South Stream was not a rival to Nabucco, an $11 billion project due to go on stream in 2014 to pump Central Asian gas via Turkey to Austria and Germany through Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.