Russia Partners with Turkey, Drops Europe Pipeline Project

Russian President Vladimir Putin with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting in Ankara on Monday


ANKARA (Russian Today)—Russia is forced to withdraw from the South Stream project due to the EU’s unwillingness to support the pipeline, and gas flows will be redirected to other customers, Vladimir Putin said after talks with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“We believe that the stance of the European Commission was counterproductive. In fact, the European Commission not only provided no help in implementation of [the South Stream pipeline], but, as we see, obstacles were created to its implementation. Well, if Europe doesn’t want it implemented, it won’t be implemented,” the Russian president said.

According to Putin, the Russian gas “will be retargeted to other regions of the world, which will be achieved, among other things, through the promotion and accelerated implementation of projects involving liquefied natural gas.”

“We’ll be promoting other markets and Europe won’t receive those volumes, at least not from Russia. We believe that it doesn’t meet the economic interests of Europe and it harms our cooperation. But such is the choice of our European friends,” he said.

The South Stream project is at the stage when “the construction of the pipeline system in the Black Sea must begin,” but Russia still hasn’t received an approval for the project from Bulgaria, the Russian president said.

Investing hundreds of millions of dollars into the pipeline, which would have to stop when it reaches Bulgarian waters, is “just absurd, I hope everybody understands that,” he said.

Putin believes that Bulgaria “isn’t acting like an independent state” by delaying the South Stream project, which would be profitable for the country.

He advised the Bulgarian leadership “to demand loss of profit damages from the European Commission” as the country could have been receiving around 400 million euros annually through gas transit.

The South Stream was intended to transport Russian gas through the Black Sea to Bulgaria – and through Serbia, Hungary, and Slovenia, further to Austria.

Russian gas giant Gazprom began construction of the onshore facilities for the pipeline back in 2012.

But the €23.5 billion project ran into difficulties, as it violated European Union regulations which state that the same company cannot both own the pipeline and the gas which is transported through it.

The crisis in Ukraine has turned the legal debate over the pipeline into a political issue, affecting the EU’s willingness to find a solution to the deadlock.

The EU Commission has been pressuring member states to withdraw from the project, with the new Bulgarian government saying it will not allow Gazprom to lay the pipeline without permission from Brussels.

Putin said that Russia is ready to build a new pipeline to meet Turkey’s growing gas demand, which may include a special hub on the Turkish-Greek border for customers in southern Europe.

For now, the supply of Russian gas to Turkey will be raised by 3 billion cubic meters via the already operating Blue Stream pipeline, he said. Last year, 13.7 bcm of gas were supplied to Turkeyvia Blue Stream, according to Reuters.

Moscow will also reduce the gas price for Turkish customers by 6 percent from January 1, 2015, Putin said.

“We are ready to further reduce gas prices along with the implementation of our joint large-scale projects,” he added.

Russia, Turkey don’t want chaos in Syria
The Russian president has said that Turkey is an important participant of the peace process in Syria, outlining the many similarities that Moscow and Ankrara have regarding the issue.

“We share a common opinion that the situation in Syria can’t be considered adequate, we share a common opinion that we don’t want to allow chaos in the region and the strengthening of terrorist organizations like it happened in Iraq,” he said.

According to Putin, it is important to create the conditions under which all citizens of Syria will feel safe and have equal access to governance.

“We certainly need to find an acceptable solution – first of all, acceptable for the Syrian people and all political forces in the country. And, definitely, we’re going to stay in contact with all participants in this process, including our friends in Turkey,” he stressed.

However, the sides still disagree on the future of Syrian President Bashar Assad, which Ankara wants removed from power.

“We sincerely expressed our attitude towards this [Assad’s] regime. Mr. President has another stance on the issue. But in general, we have reached a certain agreement on [the] resolution of the Syrian conflict,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

“The only thing that we were unable to agree on is the way to resolve the crisis,” he added.

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18 Comments

  1. Hratch said:

    Russophiles must be either rejoicing or weeping. Either way, they’re on the wrong side of history.

    In other developments, lookout for sudden and ‘spontaneous’ separatist groups to miraculously pop up in Bulgaria.

  2. Hratch said:

    “According to Putin, it is important to create the conditions under which all citizens of Syria will feel safe and have equal access to governance.”

    As if that exists in Mr. Putin’s Russia !!

  3. Harutik said:

    Very impressive. This was a brilliant move to punish the EU, pit central Europeans nations against Western powers and lure Ankara further away from the West. At the end of the day, Europe still needs Russian energy (US shale gas is not affordable or practical). Russia is still the world’s main natural gas supplier. Now, Europe will just have to guy Russian gas at a higher cost via Turkey. With its increasing reliance on Russian trade and energy, Ankara’s pan-Turkic and neo-Ottoman wet-dreams in the Caucasus will come to an end.

  4. ED said:

    -First it was Suddam, Turkey did play a double game and made huge profits
    -Than it came sanctions against Iran, Turkey still plays a doube game and making huge profits
    -Than it comes the situation with Syria, Turkey again start playing its well known old double game and making huge profits
    -and now comes western sanctions agianst Russia, Turkey is making again huge profits despite western sanctions against Russia.

    – Turkey is member of so called “western block” . its President is attacking and insulting the Western World and on the other hand , Turkey is very thankfull to Western World, because Turkey needs the western countries, since Turkey is the real winner of misery, chaos , sanctions and civil wars in its neighboring countries…

    • GeorgeMardig said:

      Turkey benefited from the American tax payers money and gave nothing back in return, but betrayal. The West diserves it.

  5. Vindicated Man said:

    A 3 bcma increase doesn’t sound like a lot of gas for a market where dozens of millions live. Also, the 6% price discount isn’t meaningful, given the declining trend in the energy prices.
    To me, the funniest part is the one that says “Russia, Turkey don’t want chaos in Syria”. While this may appear to be true for Russia, it sounds totally self-righteous for Turkey. Does anyone really believe Turkey doesn’t want Syria to have problems? Those who are naive need to wake up.

  6. stepan said:

    It is not clear whether the gas to Turkey goes through Armenia.
    Any clarifications?
    Where does Russia stand on the Green oxide issue with Turkey? “÷

  7. Areg said:

    Give me a break Mr. Putin! How can Turkey be a partner with Russia in resolving the crisis in Syria and Iraq when Turkey created and supports ISIS? Do not let Erdogan to fool you, and do not play a dump card with the Turks.
    Turks have fooled the Western world and the Europeans in general and have milked these governments and now you are falling into this trap!
    What is this purpose of hand shaking and smiles with these barbarian Turkey? Oh yes you want to pull Turkey out of the West’s influence! I thought that you were smarter than this and knew that going in bed with Turkey is Russia’s demise.
    The West has not yet learned her lesson in dealing with Turkey and now you are jumping in the wagon not to fall behind the West. What a stupidity and what a political shortsightness in your part Mr. Putin.
    A message to all world governments not to put Turkey and the Turk in their pocket even when she turns to be real gold.

  8. Kevin Abrahamian said:

    As an Armenian nationalist, I must say that this is excellent news! A Turkey dependent on a nationalist-run Russia is the best option for Armenia under current realities. Turkey is a large nation, and it is not getting wiped off of the map anytime soon. Whatever developments take place between the greater regional powers like Russia, Turkey, Iran, and others, the value of a Russia-friendly Armenia and Artsakh is as important as ever to Russian interests in the key South Caucasus region. Turkey is not capable of prying any concessions out of Russia, Russia is too powerful and dominant and Turkey has backed itself into a corner. A convergence of several recent events has made Turkey more dependent on Russia, and also somewhat strained the relationship between Turkey and the west and Israel. In turning to Russia, Turkey knows that pan-Turkism is defeated and rule by Orthodox Christian Russia is victorious. We Armenians should look at the great potential here: under Russian pressure Turkey could very well be forced to swallow its pride and open its border with Armenia, just like under Russian pressure Georgia agreed a few days ago to allowing unhindered transit between Armenia and Russia.

    It is eye-opening that the biggest losers from this development are the citizens of central, eastern, and southern Europe who are being denied diversified options and routes to receive Russian gas, as well as losing the construction and maintenance jobs this multi-billion dollar project would have brought. They will just end up with more expensive gas, and greater dependency on routes that pass through the unstable conflict zone in Ukraine. The junta in Kiev is extremely unstable and unreliable, and if they keep missing payments for Russian gas then supplies will be halted and the austerity-stricken Europeans are going to suffer deep;y with even higher gas prices. Seriously, Brussels can hardly make it any clearer that it views its new, former eastern-bloc satraps as nothing more than pawns to be used and sacrificed in Brussels’s rivalry with Moscow. This development highlights that it has always been the EU which threatens Armenia’s sovereignty, not the Russian-led Eurasian Union – the EU just ordered Bulgaria to act against Bulgarian interests, and Bulgaria complied! Thank God Armenia managed to avoid becoming EU slaves or that could have been us. This is EU short-sightedness at its worst; I can’t see a single benefit for the EU, especially considering that the EU will not be reducing its dependence on Russian gas imports anytime soon. EU member Bulgaria gave up hundreds of millions of dollars in transit fees, and non-EU member Turkey was able to capitalize on Bulgaria’s loss. All while the EU pushes Bulgaria to allow mass immigration of Muslims, Africans, and Asians; go further into debt slavery; accept homosexuality, pedophilia, prostitution, and radical feminism; drug culture; GMOs; and other destructive western policies which have dropped the Bulgarian birth rate even lower than Armenia’s (Armenia 1.74/1000 v. Bulgaria 1.50/1000).

    Once again, instead of fear-mongering we should be looking to make the most of this historic opportunity of Russia bringing Turkey into its orbit. God Bless Russia, God Bless Armenia, and God Bless the Russia-Armenia alliance and protect it from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

    Kevin Abrahamian,
    Glendale. Greenpeace. Armenian.

    • Random Armenian said:

      ” go further into debt slavery; accept homosexuality, pedophilia, prostitution, and radical feminism; drug culture; GMOs; and other destructive western policies which have dropped the Bulgarian birth rate even lower than Armenia’s (Armenia 1.74/1000 v. Bulgaria 1.50/1000).”

      It’s amazing how some people look at the West through these ideological lenses. You think there is none of this in Russia and Armenia?

      Armenia is in debt to Russia. And Russia keeps taking away Armenian infrastructure in return for unpaid debts. You think there is no prostitution in Armenia, gays and drugs? And all this without being in the EU or being a proper Western or European country.

      Also, birth rates tend to drop because of higher standard of living.

      Please cite some sources showing how GMOs are causing lower birth rates. Other wise you’re just spewing hateful rhetoric.

      Also, Armenia was not going to join the EU. For 3 years it was working on a trade deal with the EU. Which I think would have been great in combination with the other relationships Armenia has with Russia. But Russia did not want it. For Armenia, it would have been best to have relations with EU and Russia in many areas. Putting one’s eggs in one basket does not sound like sound economic policy.

      Instead Armenia is being tied more and more to a very nationalistic and corrupt country.

    • Harutuyn said:

      Apres Kevin jisht asesir , people are shortsited they sit in their warm homes behind their computer and talk shit all day long i dont see them out there working for the Armenian cause and one more thing as long as Turks break away from the west its much better for us because now the west will realise who the Turks are and i’m sure they who the Turks are and more they break away and it is unfortunate but the west will use The Armenian Genocide against the turks and may be they will even recognize it , i understand that whats happening is very wrong but it is what it is , Armenian question is being used as weapon against the turks for now.

  9. Random Armenian said:

    Turkey and Azerbaijan have more to offer to Russia than Armenia does. Armenia is simply a foothold next to these countries for Russia to put a base.

    We see Armenia and Artsakh as inseparable. But does Russia? Has Russia recognized Artsakh as part of Armenia or as an independent state?

  10. Yeghish said:

    Kevin I am sorry but you are soo wrong! Turkey is not dpendent on russian gas supplies. They are getting gas directly from Azerbaijan and Iran. They just want to resell gad at higher price to Europe. As of perceived benefits to armenia – history proved many times we were an exchange coin when it came to russian Turkish relatoonships. Russia sold us many times and now involved us in a very dangerous tax union that puts us in conflict with world trade organization and west. Please, love your motherland Armenia by promoting truly independent and corruption free country and not for the appendix of deteriorating wanna be empire. All your statements are delivered via russian propaganda and unfortunately lot of people buy it.

  11. Daniel said:

    Well said Kevin, but one has to think that Russia is up to something with this. I doubt it will be the impetus to open the border but who knows we’ll just have to wait and see.

    I have to say though as a hye-a-ser I really don’t like that Russia always undermines Armenia by helping Azerbaijan and now this….it makes me wonder what’s going to happen with the security of our nation. The time will come when Armenians from all over will have to reform ASALA but this time getting it done right, no more half steps it’s all the way to the Caspian.

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