Putin Drops South Stream Pipeline to EU, Courts Turkey Instead

This was an easily predictable and foregone conclusion. Turkey is frustrated with the EU and its never-ending stalling of Turkish membership, as it’s quite clear Europe doesn’t want to open the floodgates to 90 million muslims yet prefers to keep it in NATO for manpower purposes. Turkey has also reacted to this by purchasing Chinese military weaponry instead of NATO armaments, which was a rather large hint to which side it will soon take.

Add this to Western sanctions, which are only making the Russians and Chinese laugh, it’s only natural the Soviets would find a new partner in Turkey and China. Europe gets oil and gas from nowhere else but Russia at the moment, and its Mediterranean pipelines coming from Cyprus and ran through Greece (both are new energy coorridors) are far from being finished. Shale oil in the United States might soon become too expensive as OPEC, to kill competition, opened the oil floodgates to bring the price down to unprofitable levels, forcing American oil companies to close doors — as nobody is in business to not make a profit.

In effect, Western sanctions are tantamount to saying “We’re going to shoot ourselves in the foot to punish you.” It should be no wonder as to why China and Russia are laughing.

Russia on Monday scrapped the South Stream pipeline project to supply gas to southern Europe without crossing Ukraine, citing EU objections, and instead named Turkey as its preferred partner for an alternative pipeline, with a promise of hefty discounts.

The EU, at loggerheads with Moscow over Ukraine, and keen to reduce its energy dependence on Russia, had objected to the $40 billion South Stream pipeline, which was to enter the EU via Bulgaria, on competition grounds.

The proposed undersea pipeline to Turkey, with an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters (bcm) – more than four times Turkey’s annual purchases from Russia – would face no such problems. Russia offered to combine it with a gas hub at the EU’s southeastern edge, the Turkish-Greek border, to supply southern Europe.

The chief executive of Russia’s state-controlled gas exporter, Gazprom, told reporters in Ankara, where he was on a one-day visit with President Vladimir Putin, that South Stream was “closed. This is it”.

Putin accused the EU of denying Bulgaria, heavily dependent on Russian gas, its sovereign rights, and said that blocking the project “is against Europe’s economic interests and is causing damage”.

He announced that Russia would grant Turkey a 6 percent discount on its gas imports from Russia for next year, supplying it with three bcm more than this year.

Miller said Gazprom had signed a memorandum of understanding with Turkey’s Botas on the pipeline under the Black Sea to Turkey.

Full article: Putin Drops South Stream Pipeline to EU, Courts Turkey Instead (Voice of America)

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