The deepening crisis in Ukraine is boosting Turkey’s decade-long efforts to establish itself as the lynchpin in energy flows from eastern providers to European customers.
On February 8, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız and Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller surveyed possible routes for the so-called “Turkish Stream” gas pipeline, a multi-billion-dollar project that could funnel up to 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas under the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey, and on to Greece and the European Union.
The project, announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a December 2014 state visit to Turkey, shook the energy world. It would supersede the partially built Russia-to-Bulgaria “South Stream” pipeline.In mid-January, Moscow announced Turkish Stream would replace its existing pipelines crossing Ukraine to European markets.
Construction of the Turkish Stream’s first section should be completed by December 2016, according to Gazprom.
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Dorian Jones is a freelance reporter based in Istanbul.