Russia May Block EU Energy Ambitions With Turkish Stream Pipeline

Russia May Block EU Energy Ambitions With Turkish Stream Pipeline
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a news conference, Istanbul, Oct. 10, 2016 (AP photo by Emrah Gurel).

In Istanbul last month, Turkey and Russia signed a strategic agreement for a stalled gas pipeline known as Turkish Stream. Running under the Black Sea to Turkey and then on to Greece, the pipeline would offer Russia a way to sell gas to Europe that bypasses existing pipelines in Eastern Europe, especially Ukraine. The Turkish Stream agreement seems like the culmination of a Turkish-Russian rapprochement that has been underway since the spring, as both countries tried to repair relations after Turkey downed a Russian fighter along the Syrian border nearly a year ago.

First proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in late 2014 during a visit to Ankara, Turkish Stream was billed as a replacement for the abandoned South Stream project, which would have carried Russian gas under the Black Sea to Bulgaria but didn’t comply with EU energy rules. For Moscow, the main rationale for both South Stream and Turkish Stream was the search for a gas transit alternative to Ukraine.

The European Union, meanwhile, has been pursuing its own energy strategy to move away from dependence on Russian gas and negotiate lower prices with Russian gas giant Gazprom. In 2008, the European Commission proposed the Southern Gas Corridor, to supply gas from huge fields in the Caspian Sea—and perhaps eventually Iran and other Middle Eastern sources—to Europe through several new pipelines.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article as well as three free articles per month. You'll also receive our free email newsletter to stay up to date on all our coverage:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review