Turkey should be cautious in gas deal with Russia

As expected, the Turkey-Russia High-Level Cooperation Council witnessed important developments particularly in the field of energy. Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the end on the much-anticipated South Stream project, a pipeline that would have carried some 63 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas to Europe by going underneath the Black Sea and Bulgaria in a bid to bypass Ukraine.

The ongoing standoff between Russia and the European Union over Ukraine is the major reason for scrapping the $23 billion-worth project - a move seen by many as a Russian bluff - but obviously changed the forecast and plans for future gas supply to the European continent. In a bid to replace the South Stream project, Turkish and Russian officials have discussed and at the end signed a memorandum of understanding authorizing the two countries’ state companies, Botaş and Gazprom, to launch technical work for a new pipeline carrying exactly the same amount of natural gas (63 billion cbm) to Europe via Turkey. Turkey will take 14 billion cbm of it and the rest, around 50 billion cbm, will be delivered to European countries from a gas terminal to be stationed on the Turkish-Greek border.

It is Turkey’s every right as a sovereign country to negotiate with any country in order to meet its needs, especially when it’s about energy sources, at a compatible price. However, when it comes to inking such a major deal with Russia, Turkey should eventually cogitate on its regional and global consequences. Here are some reasons:

Turkey’s energy policy: Turkey’s entry into global energy games dates back to the early 1990s, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the birth of independent countries sitting on major hydrocarbon reserves. Since...

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