EU’s Energy Security: Turkish Stream Launched, Increasing EU’s Dependence on Russian Gas

Written by | Saturday, January 11th, 2020
@Eubulletin

While European Union has been trying hard to diversify energy sources, Russian and Turkish presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, formally launched on Wednesday (8 January) the Turkish Stream pipeline at a ceremony in Istanbul – with this new pipeline, Europe’s dependency on Russian gas is not getting any less, very much to the joy of the ruler in the Kremlin. The formal inauguration, which was attended also by the leaders of Serbia and Bulgaria, is widely seen as a geopolitical coup for Russia and an economic success for Turkey. While Russia rejoices about the fact that this new pipeline bypasses Ukraine, Turkey is enjoying its gradual rise to become a major gas hub in the region. Meanwhile, on the losing side will be, apart from Ukraine, also Poland and some Baltic States, as well as Slovakia, for they will be deprived of transit fees.
The Turkish Stream pipeline, stretching 930 km across the Black Sea, will carry natural gas from Russia to southern Europe through Turkey, part of Moscow’s efforts to reduce shipments via Ukraine. The launch of Turkish Stream project also needs to be seen against a backdrop of Russian disinformation campaigns particularly in Europe and the United States, EU sanctions against Russia for annexing Crimea but also wars in Syria and Libya, where Russia and Turkey are supporting opposite sides. Despite these geopolitical differences, Moscow and Ankara have lately sought to reinforce their defense cooperation after Turkey bought advanced Russian missile defenses last year and also coordinated military deployments in northeast Syria.
The Turkish Stream project was a sign of “interaction and cooperation for the benefit of our people and the people of all Europe, the whole world”, Putin noted at the inauguration ceremony. And while Russia is also doubling the capacity of Nord Stream across the Baltic Sea to Germany as part of plans to bypass Ukraine, last month, the US Senate approved a defense bill imposing sanctions related to both Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream, which is designed a measure “to deter Russian aggression”. EU member states depend, to a large degree, on gas imports from third countries, such as Russia, Norway, Algeria, Qatar, or the US.

Article Categories:
SECURITY & DEFENSE

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