Europe’s Final Hope For Energy Independence From Russia

And this is one of the main reasons Russia went to war against Georgia in 2008. They did not want Europe to be energy independent.

 

Europe’s reluctance towards reliance upon Russian natural gas trade is no secret. It’s also no surprise, due to fallouts between Russia and Ukraine (a major transit country for the trade) in 2006, 2009 and 2014. Currently Russia and Ukraine do not even have a bilateral gas trade, but Russian gas is transported through Ukrainian pipelines to Europe, only to be resold to Ukraine by E.U. countries in “reverse-flow” deals. This doesn’t sound like a stable system, considering the reliance of Europe’s gas supply upon these Ukrainian pipelines (European supplies were cut by 30 percent in the 2009 Ukrainian crisis). Continue reading

Turkey Having Trouble Finding Alternatives To Russian Gas

With Russian-Turkish relations bottoming out after Turkey’s downing of a Russian military jet last November, Ankara is scrambling to reduce its dependency on Russian gas. But the help it needs from post-Soviet energy producers may not be swift in coming.

The Caspian Sea state of Azerbaijan, Turkey’s closest ally in the post-Soviet region, was the first place Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davuto?lu [sic] visited after the November 24 downing incident. And most recently, Davuto?lu [sic] met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Davos on January 20.

“Two nations, one people” is a popular mantra that officials in both Turkey and Azerbaijan use to describe their relationship. And yet when it comes to energy, there seems to be limits to this unity. Continue reading