Turkey, Russia take steps for reconciliation ahead of Erdoğan-Putin meeting

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ISTANBUL – On the evening of August 31, the newly built stadium in Antalya on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast will host a soccer match between the national teams of Turkey and Russia.

It is scheduled as a “friendly” match, although relations between the two countries have been far from living up to this adjective over the eight months since the downing of a Russian jet by Turkish aircraft in November last year.

However, with a reconciliation process between the two countries starting in June and gaining significant momentum through the visits of a number of Turkish cabinet members to Moscow last week and an upcoming meeting between the two countries’ presidents, there are sufficient grounds to expect this soccer game to herald the normalization of relations between Ankara and Moscow. Continue reading

War by Other Means

MOSCOW/BERLIN (Own report) – Prominent German foreign policymakers are proposing that a “double strategy” be applied in the West’s power struggle with Russia. According to Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, the West should continue to demonstrate a “position of strength.” However, because, at this time, Moscow obviously cannot be subdued by a policy of pure confrontation, a new phase of engaging Russia should be initiated. Talks on EU cooperation with the newly established Eurasian Economic Union could be envisaged. Such a cooperation would return the rivalry “between Russia and the West to the economic field, from that of the military,” according to experts. Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel had already floated such an option. At the same time, aggression against Russia continues. A US rating agency has just downgraded Russia to “junk level.” Additional measures are in discussion.

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China took away the Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India pipeline from USA

“With a subtle motion of the hand” China took away the Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India (TAPI) pipeline project from USA and became yesterday the chief controller of gas resources in Central and South Asia.

Somebody else’s ideas and plans have been expropriated by means of contract for sale of 25 bn cu m of gas per year concluded between State Concern Turkmengas and Chinese Company CNPC.  The deal will increase the total volume of Turkmen gas supplied to China up to 65 bn cu m. At the same time the agreement is achieved on the planned new direction of Turkmenistan – China pipeline (D direction) for additional supplies. Continue reading

Trans Adriatic Pipeline to bring Azeri gas to Europe

In a long-awaited decision to bring Azeri gas resources to Europe, the Shah Deniz II consortium opted for a pipeline running through Greece and Albania instead of a rival northwestern route, Nabucco West, running from Bulgaria to Austria.

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will stretch 870 kilometres from the Greek-Turkish border. Moving west, TAP is designed to extend across the breadth of northern Greece before veering northwest to Albania. From Fier, Albania, plans envision the pipeline crossing under the Adriatic to emerge in southern Italy. Continue reading