Thursday

26th Apr 2018

Russia and Turkey restart talks on EU gas pipeline

  • Gazprom also plans to build a new pipeline to Germany (Photo: gazprom.com)

Top executives from Russian energy firm Gazprom will in Turkey on Wednesday (31 August) resume work on a potentially divisive gas pipeline project to the EU.

Alexander Medvedev, Gazprom’s deputy CEO, told Russia’s Tass news agency that he and the firm’s CEO, Alexei Miller, will take part in the delegation on the Turkish Stream pipeline.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"They [the talks] are actually under way. This process began at the [recent] meeting of the Turkish economy minister with Russia’s energy minister. They agreed on the resumption of the project”, Medvedev said.

“Alexei Miller’s visit to Turkey and his meeting with his vis-a-vis are scheduled for tomorrow [Wednesday]. I'm also going there, the process is actually going on," he said.

The Turkish Stream pipeline, which is to run under the Black Sea via Turkey to Greece, was designed to replace South Stream, a pipeline from Russia to Bulgaria.

Russia scrapped South Stream because under EU competition law Gazprom would have had to split up its ownership of the project and let rival firms use the pipe.

It then scrapped Turkish Stream after Turkey, last year, shot down a Russian jet which it said had crossed into its airspace from Syria. But the Turkish leader, in June, apologised to Russia’s Vladimir Putin, whom he met in Russia earlier this month to reset relations.

Russia is also planning to build a new pipeline to Germany, Nord Stream 2, and has said that it would stop delivering gas to the EU via Ukraine from 2020, when the new pipes are in place.

EU divisions

Turkish Stream had earlier faced European Commission criticism because it would force EU states, such as Greece, to build new infrastructure to connect to Turkey, while abandoning existing transit pipelines to Ukraine.

Nord Stream 2 has raised complaints from eastern EU states, such as Poland, who said it would help Russia to cut off supplies to their region and would harm Ukraine at a time when it was trying to align itself with the West.

Bulgaria has also complained that if Turkish Stream was built it would make a mockery of its loss of South Stream in order to comply with EU law.

Amid falling gas demand, low oil prices, and legal hurdles, it remains uncertain which, if any, of the projects will go ahead.

But the promise of potential new gas income is helping Russia to win friends in the EU in its bid to end the sanctions regime over Ukraine, EU diplomats have said.

Putin’s promises

For his part, Bulgarian prime minister Boiko Borisov, a sanctions critic, earlier this month spoke with Putin by phone about reviving South Stream.

Speaking to EUobserver last year, a Slovak diplomat compared the pipeline projects to Russia’s “disinformation” campaign on the Ukraine conflict.

“Some EU leaders keep meeting Putin and keep believing what he says. But he says different things to each of them and his actions don’t match his words,” the diplomat said.

Turkey pledges loyalty to EU and Nato

Turkey’s foreign minister has said that its rapprochement with Russia does not mean Ankara will turn away from Nato or the EU.

EU to uphold ban on Putin's 'cronies'

EU states are expected, next week, to extend for six months their blacklist of Russians and Ukrainians deemed responsible for the war in Ukraine.

EU to help Ukraine cut Russia gas dependence

The EU aims to help Ukraine become independent of Russian energy supplies in the next “three to four years”, Ukarine's PM and an EU commissioner have said.

Interview

Don't play EU 'games' with military HQs

The EU should not share out military HQs for political reasons if it wants effective armed forces, Italy's former defence chief tells EUobserver.

Feature

Spain makes bid for EU naval HQ

Spanish special forces seized a boat from African 'pirates' as diplomats watched on Monday, in a drill marking Spain's bid to grab a top EU military mission from the UK.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach
  2. Sustainable Energy Week 2018"Lead the Clean Energy Transition"- Register and Join Us in Brussels from 5 to 7 May
  3. EU Green Week 2018Green Cities for a Greener Future. Join the Debate in Brussels from 22 to 24 May
  4. Nordic Council of Ministers12 Recommendations for Nordic Leadership on Climate and Environment
  5. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOxford Professor Calls for an End to the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  6. ACCAPeople Who Speak-Up Should Feel Safe to Do So
  7. Mission of China to the EUProgress on China-EU Cooperation
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  9. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  10. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  11. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  12. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off

Latest News

  1. EU tells platforms to sort fake news by October or face new law
  2. Civil society chief: social media can't replace engagement
  3. The reality behind the €7 'Brexit bombshell visa'
  4. Commission wants bigger post-Brexit budget
  5. Whistleblowers could be enforcers of rule of law in Europe
  6. EU shelves Macron idea for 'European Darpa'
  7. Don't play EU 'games' with military HQs
  8. EU had a plan for Jordan - now it's time to make it work