четвъртък, 11 декември 2014 г.

South Stream - time to talk straight to our Turkish partners

The Turkish government is slowly coming to terms with the consequences of its flirts with President Putin and the new Russian "gift" granting Ankara a middle man status Gazprom's EU trade with Russian gas.
On top of the geopolitical connotations of Russia's dragging Turkey into its power play in the Middle East and notably Syria within the context of overall confrontation with the US - Moscow has succeeded in presenting President Erdogan in a uneasy task resolving the puzzle with the impact of South Stream entering Turkey. 
Not surprisingly Minister Ildiz has tried to reassure EU and US allies that Ankara is not changing course and it will stick to its prime role as transit hub for non-Russain gas. Within the current state of confrontation between Russia and the West - even for Turkey it is hardly possible to earn from all ends.
Yesterday Turkish Energy Minister Ildiz came out with yet another fancy idea - South Stream to enter Turkey in the European part - in the region of Istanbul. 
I trust it is time to talk straight to our Turkish partners so that they do not fall in the geopolitical trap set by President Putin. Their role as a transit country is only as good as their ability to secure safe exit of gas flows at TUR-BG and TUR-GR border - and this should not be taken as forgranted and done against EU rules. There are limits to flirting with Gazprom at the expense of the EU members - notably shutting down the Transbalkan pipeline. Within the EU's energy frame set Bulgaria should come forth as a key EU energy spokesperson in the region and instead of waiting for the Turkish government to accommodate the Russian grand strategy Sofia should promote diversification projects with EU members and the South-North corridor - from Greece to Poland. 
There are too many options these days to depend on a single country or source. --

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