After Azeri Accord, Turkey, Russia Finalize Gas Deal

Minister Yıldız (L) and Russia’s deputy PM Sechin (R) exchange dossiers as Russian Prime Minister Putin attends a signing ceremony in Moscow. AP photo

ISTANBUL (Hürriyet Daily News)—Just two days after signing a memorandum of understanding with Azerbaijan to build a massive east-west pipeline, Turkey struck another historic gas deal yesterday with Russia, allowing the energy giant to develop its plans for future exports to Europe.

Premier Vladimir Putin, who received written permission for the South Stream project from visiting Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, described the approval as “a big event in Europe’s energy sphere,” Russian news agencies reported.

“I would like to thank Turkey for its decision to issue final approval to construct the South Stream pipeline through Turkey’s special economic zone,” Putin said during talks with Yıldız, according to AFP. Along with the deal, Turkey and Russia gained extra time to solve a dispute over the Westline, a pipeline that supplies 6 million cubic meters of gas to Istanbul and its environs every year. The South Stream project, which passes through the Black Sea, is scheduled to start operating in 2015.

The line will ship up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria and Italy in one leg and Croatia, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey in another.

The permission was the final hurdle to the pipeline’s construction, and Russian energy giant Gazprom’s chief executive Alexei Miller described it as “the most serious proof” that the project would be completed by 2015.

“The South Stream project has entered a new phase: construction,” Reuters quoted him as saying. “The permission is final.”

South Stream, funded by Gazprom, France’s EdF, Italy’s Eni and Germany’s Wintershall, rivals the EU-backed Nabucco pipeline that is slated to ship gas from the Caspian region to Austria. Turkey has said the two projects should complement each other.

However, many analysts believe the recent moves by Turkey cloud the future of Nabucco, nearly two-thirds of which is projected to pass through Turkey.

Turkey and Azerbaijan signed a memorandum of understanding on Dec. 26 to establish a venture that will build the Trans-Anatolia pipeline, which stretches across Turkey from east to west, with a capacity of 16 billion cubic meters a year.

Socar will work with Turkey’s state-owned pipeline operator BOTAŞ Boru to build the 2,000-kilometer conduit. Socar will hold 80 percent of the venture, Yıldız said Dec. 26.

Russia sees the South Stream as the final replacement for the Ukrainian route for Russian gas.
Russia has been anxious to gain control, or at least a substantial share, of the Ukrainian export pipeline.

EU states receive more than a quarter of their gas from Russia.

Gazprom said it had also resolved a deliveries dispute with Turkey that saw Ankara revoke a contract with Russia earlier this year. Gazprom said delivery terms for both the Westline to Istanbul and the Blue Stream pipeline under the Black Sea had been agreed through the end of 2012.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed but the Russian media had earlier reported that Turkey was purposely delaying its approval of the South Stream route in order to bargain for lower prices.
The contracts signed with Turkey’s BOTAŞ, the state-run pipeline company, will allow Gazprom to boost exports to Turkey by 2 billion cubic meters next year, Miller said, according to Reuters.

“There is no new agreement with Russia concerning the purchase of natural gas from the Westline,” Anatolia news agency quoted Yıldız as saying.

However, Yıldız said the parties agreed to transfer 3 billion cubic meters of gas that had originally been slated for transport via Blue Stream to Westline until Turkish private companies struck a deal with Russia.

BOTAŞ had withdrawn from Westline due to a price dispute with Russia in September. Since then, Turkish private firms have been bargaining on possible gas exports from Russia.

“We have signed a new addendum until private companies sign an agreement for the Westline,” Yıldız said.


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  1. lily Hurst said:

    Russia once again has proved its true face….another Nazi working with the devil.

    • john said:


  2. Raffikian said:

    The history is repeating itself, Russia is selling Armenia and Armenian Genoside for OIL

  3. Avetis said:

    What, no predictions of doom and gloom? I’m surprised. Amerikay and “opozitsia” types usually run away with these kinds of news with predictions that Moscow is about to sell Armenia and Artsakh to the Turks…

    • Hagop D said:

      Sure Avetis, the Russians are our friends… that’s why they gave Kars, Nakhichevan, Karabakh to the Turks/Azeris and continue to uphold the treaty of Kars… it was all an act of kindness and friendship and goodwill towards the Armenian people.

    • Basil said:

      I don’t know, why did you ancestors prefer to rape and pillage and murder their way through the centuries, which finally climaxed in the early 20th century? Who knows..

      By the way, why do Kurds, Greeks, Arameans, Assyrians, Cypriots, Bulgarians and Persians prefer hate instead of “friendship”? I don’t know. However, the only people you could buy so far with welfeare were Georgians, which comes as no surprise. And at this point the only people that prefer your friendship and welfare are your Turkish tribes in the FSR Azerbaijan. So, instead of asking us questions that we can hardly answer to, better ask yourself some questions first.

    • john said:

      looking into the mirror again lowly turk? H

      ATE is the only thing that is you everything else is stolen and plunderes from others. HATE built into your mongol genes.

    • Avery said:

      why did your Seljuk Turk ancestors invade our Armenian Highlands from their own homeland 3,000 kilometers East of Armenia ?
      why did your Ottoman, CUP, etc, ancestors exterminate 2 million defenseless Armenians ?
      why does your Turk Government conduct a worldwide campaign of AG Denial ?
      why is your Turk Government threatening France ?
      Why is Turkey militarily, economically, and diplomatically supporting the fake state of Azerbaijan in their planned extermination and ethnic cleansing of Artsakh’s indigenous Armenians ?

      You want more, Turk-oglu Oguztolga ? Let me know: I gots lots more, homes.

  4. Hayq said:

    One more nation, Turkey, becomes dependent on Russian energy. This marginalizes Ukraine and other Caspian nations that provide gas and makes Russia an even more powerful energy exporter. Russia now can export more effectively through the Balkans and Northern Europe and at the same time be the medium for energy from the Caspian.

    If anything, Turkey has shot itself in the foot by choosing the south stream project as well. South Stream was to be the competitor against the EU-backed Nabucco which would relieve Europe from Russian Energy, now Turkey pretty much ensures that Russia will be there for quite some time.

  5. Դրօ said:

    Lo, and behold! Russia is simply doing what every other state does; acting on its own interests. There are no friends in international relations; only interests. Russia only cares about Russian interests, the US only cares about US interests, and the same could be said for every other country in the world. Only Armenia cares about Armenian interests because ALL STATES ARE SELF-INTERESTED. It’s time for everyone to wake up and smell the coffee because this is the reality of the world. It’s time for Armenians to finally learn a crucial lesson from our history; never rely on foreigners to look after us. And it’s time for some of us to stop it with the ridiculous praises like “God bless Mother Russia” and other such stupidities (I’m sure the Kremlin officials would laugh their butts off if they saw that). If Russian interests happen to coincide with Armenian interests, good for us. If not, too bad. There’s a reason why Realism has been the dominant paradigm of International Relations since the beginning of WWII and still is.

    This is why I strongly approve of the Armenian government’s Complementary Policy. I don’t always agree with their decisions, but I think they got this one right. Having relations with both, Russia and the West, serves Armenian interests much better than over-reliance on just one foreign power (which is dangerous). If Armenia had no relations with the West whatsoever, I don’t think that the bill penalizing genocide denial in France would have seen the light of day or even get written in the first place. I also like how Armenia is building relations with China, India, and definitely Iran.

    I’m Armenian; so I say, “God bless Mother Armenia!”

  6. Դրօ said:

    TYPO: if they see* that

    Even the “brotherhood” of Turkey and Azerbaijan is being put to the test with the Cyprus issue. Till this day, only Turkey recognizes Northern Cyprus as a sovereign state and no one else; not even Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan will NEVER recognize Northern Cyprus because it goes against its own interests (Artsakh).

    As for Turkey’s Pan-Turanistic dreams of becoming one large, unified state with all the other Turkic states, that is simply Turkey being expansionary and wanting control of more land, which cannot happen. Earlier in the year, all the Turkic republics had a meeting together on Turkey’s initiative. In the meeting, the Turkic states like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan showed support for closer economic and cultural ties with each other but stopped short of supporting the idea of them fusing into one large state. This is because it would mean giving up their sovereignty, which they naturally don’t want to do.

  7. bigmoustache said:

    anyone who puts any faith in the russians is a fool. have faith only in your people.
    the soviet union banned tashnag nationalists and robbed us of our vibrant all thats left is the drabness and bleakness that russia left behind. hilariously ugly police and military officer uniforms with the giant satellite dish hats, corruption and thievery…..yeah FK the russians

    • Avery said:

      No gift to Turks Turk-oglu: well it was a gift, but not what Turks think it is; it was a collar with a long chain. Russia will make Turkey dependent on her for energy – like controlling someone’s lifeblood. Turks will work like dogs, to earn hard currency – to then give it to Russia. Russia will just seat back and collect cash. Nice.
      Any time Turkey does something Russia doesn’t like, the Bear will yank the chain, and the little wolf pup will get the message.

      And Armenia got boxes full of gifts all year last year, well before Christmas. Did you happen to watch the Independence Day Military parade in Yerevan last September ?
      After your AzeriTatarTurk buddies saw what Armenia had, the daily warlike threats emanating from Baku suddenly died down.

      Now Azeris are all about “peaceful resolution”, “inter-communal relations”, all that sweet, friendly stuff.
      And Armenia showed only a fraction of what Russia gave. And Aliyev knows it.
      And the most beautiful thing you Turks don’t know about is this: with the hard currency you’ll be sending to Russia, she will procure even more advanced military hardware to give to Armenia as per the terms of the agreement between Moscow and Yerevan. There is special language in the treaty obligating Russia to provide modern weapons at advantageous terms. So you Turks will be paying for the defense of Armenia and Artsakh, as soon as the gas starts flowing.
      Ho Ho Ho.

  8. Dave said:

    We shall see whether this pipeline is ever built.
    Turkey and Russia already signed an agreement to build South Stream a year or more ago.
    Is this a new agreement, a xerox copy of the old one, or just more hot air?

    As for Avetis’s comment that Russia and Turkey’s getting together is no threat to Armenia: there’s no fool like a Russophile Armenian fool.

    • Armanen said:

      Nah the biggest fools are the Russophobes. Sadly, they do not realize that Russia and Iran have been more pro Armenia than any other state with a large Armenian minority. It is sad, but I see more affection among Armenians in the US toward Arab countries, who again and again vote with azerbaijan against Armenia, than for Russia or Iran.

      • Haik Azad said:

        Yes Armanen djan ,mother russia is the top armenian lover in the region for centuries and to prove it the red russkies gave away 2 thirds of Armenia to cold turkey-there is not a greater love of Armenia than that -or maybe there is -it is the love between the current russian red russkies and their brothers -in-arms in the current Cominterrn- our own haidaragagan fearless amot socialist party.

    • Haik Azad said:

      There are dear David,there are lots of bigger and better fools than baron Avedis-in and around Glendale.The site you post your comments on is also a socialist party paper`s one.

  9. Albert Nercessian said:

    Armenia would benefit from joining the Eurasian Union because this would help to boost Armenia’s economy by being linked to the Russian economy. This would overcome the need to open borders with Turkey which would be a disaster. The Russians want to butter up the Turks because the Turks were actively giving money and weapons to the Chechan terrorists. CNN reported that during the Beslan School Massacre where 300 children were murdered, the Chechan terrorists were talking to contacts in Istambul by phone. The Turks have played a major role in inciting an Islamic revival in the Turkic areas in Russia and the former Soviet Union.

  10. Albert Nercessian said:

    The Armenian government is unwise to think that opening the border with Turkey will solve Armenia’s economic problems. The Turks know that they were not able to destroy the Armenians through genocide so their new strategy is through hijacking the Armenian economy and filling Armenia with Turkish businessmen whose goal is to buy up large parts of the Armenian economy that the Sarkissian government may just grant them. Russia may not be a dream partner but it is like a marriage. It has it’s ups and downs.Armenia will benefit from joining the Eurasian Union the President Putin has created. It would be great for Armenia to be independent of Russia but since Armenia is landlocked, it will benefit with closer cooperation with Russia in economic and military spheres.

  11. Albert Nercessian said:

    Dealing with the Russians is far safer than dealing with the two faced Turk parasites. The Armenians are thorn in the side of the Turks and they want to use new strategies to destroy the Armenians and economic warfare is the new mode of war,

  12. John Markarian said:

    Russia would of been wiser to place the pipeline pathway outside of Turkish territory. If I were the Russians, I would have built a second North Stream pipeline. Armenia needs to attract European investment and block investments by Turks, and Azeri-Iranians. Unfortunately many Hayastanci woman have married Turkish and Azeri businessmen and this is a tragedy. These half Turk/half Armenian children automatically become Turk Muslims because of Islamic law The Turks and Azeris want to committ genetic genocide of the Armenians where Armenians are genetically Turkified and this will be the end of the Armenians. .

  13. John Markarian said:

    The NKR republic should extract the oil from the Mardakert province which is known to have oil reserves. That is why both of the recent skirmishes by Azeri forces have been in the Mardakert region. because the Azeris want this land badly. It not only contains black oil (crude oil ) but also white oil (kerosine) which does not need the more expensive refining. This is big bucks for Armenia and the NKR. That is the whole reason why the Azeris comitted the Maragha Massacre because that village sits on top of oil. Armenia needs to build a modern version of the Magninot line to prevent the Azeris from taking Mardakert.