Finger-Pointing Over Delay of Turkish Stream

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Finger-Pointing Over Delay of Turkish Stream

Fri, 09/18/2015 - 13:50
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The TurkStream Offshore Pipeline (© 2015 South Stream Transport B.V)
The TurkStream Offshore Pipeline (© 2015 South Stream Transport B.V)

Lack of progress in the Turkish Stream project has prompted the Russians as well as the Turks to explain the hold-up. Not surprisingly the respective explanations vary considerably.

For Russian Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev the delay is due to the "political crisis" in Turkey -- in June President Erdogan dissolved his government after the loss of parliamentary majority and there was no acting Cabinet until an interim government was created at the end of August.

For the Turks the delay is the result of a failure to agree to the terms of the project, particularly the amount of the discount the Turks are expected to receive from Gazprom.

In addition, Turkey has been under heavy pressure from both the U.S. and the EU, as well as its regional partners, Azerbaijan and other energy-source countries, to not sign this agreement. Although some in the government believed that this pipeline project would aid Turkey in its ambitions to become a regional energy hub, those in the Foreign Ministry were more cautious as such a move would undermine the country’s objectives of attracting Iraqi, Iranian, Turkmen and more Azeri natural gas to Turkey.

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