RUSSIA has teamed up with Turkey to announce a coordinated military strategy for Syria and the construction of a new gas pipeline running between the two countries.
The collaboration between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan comes amid growing tensions between Russia and the West.
The ruthless leaders met in Istanbul on Monday to discuss the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and a joint military strategy in Syria, resulting in an agreement to share intelligence and the joint provision of humanitarian aid.
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
After the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey, Russian intellectual Fyodor Lukyanov writes in an article, titled “People With Big Ambitions: What the Turkish Coup Means for Russia,” that Moscow has grounds for satisfaction with the current situation. Lukyanov believes that Turkish president Recep Erdogan now needs to find reliable foreign partners to support his regime. However, Erdogan’s “zigzag” policy has hardly gained him respect in any foreign capital, and Turkey might now regard Moscow as a possible strategic partner. Lukyanov writes that Turkey relations with the EU are worn down. The EU abandoned the idea of a common European home and if Turkey will reinstate the death penalty, as mooted after the failed coup, this would doom Turkey’s chances of joining the EU and force Ankara to leave the Council of Europe.
According to Lukyanov, the primary reason for the EU’s diminished desire to cooperate with Ankara is that the European countries never fully accepted Turkey as “one of their own.” Russia can sympathize with Turkey, as it as well has been treated by Europe as a “barbarian at the gate” notwithstanding the common cultural and historical heritage. Lukyanov views Erdogan’s need for new allies, as an opportunity for a Turkey-Russia partnership, for offsetting and even reducing Western geopolitical influence. Lukyanov writes: “Europe is no longer the center of the world. Earlier, if Europe sneezed, the whole world caught cold. Now, however, three-fourths of humanity is simply uninterested in what ails these strange people with their oversized ambitions and diminishing ability to implement them properly.” Continue reading
While Greece is collectively scratching its head why Tsipras et al were at loggerheads with Europe for 4 months, during which time the Greek economy entered a recession and saw its banks not only depleted of all cash but become de facto wards of the ECB, just to reach an “agreement” that could have taken place back in February, and attention shifts to just how Tsipras will pass last night’s impromptu capitulation through hard-line leftist parliamentarians, Greece now has another problem: how to unpivot the aggressive pivot toward Russia in the past few months, which culminated with the signing of an energy deal last week in St. Petersburg.
It goes without saying that if Greece is scrambling to go back into the Troika’s good graces, Belgium will make it very clear that any overtures to Putin are to be “cease and deceased” (sic) immediately. Which opens a can of worms for the Marxists in government: how to slam shut the door to their ideological Plan B, when everyone knows the Grexit fiasco will repeat again in a few months, and Greece will again be knocking on the Kremlin’s door. Continue reading
CEO of the country’s largest oil company Hellenic Petroleum, Grigoris Stergioulis said that many nations, including Russia and Arab countries, want to use Greece as a hub, and “we are trying very hard to establish kind of cooperation and to gain some time that was lost in the past.”
ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik), Anna Liatsou — Greece could become a major hub for distribution of oil resources in Europe, the CEO of the country’s largest oil company Hellenic Petroleum told Sputnik Thursday.
This is why it’s oft said here that Greece will not be going anywhere. They’re too strategically important for Europe and will likely become the energy hub for the continent — whether they transit supplies from Cyprus, Russia or wherever else. In a worst case scenario, Greece will be part of a periphery economy should the EU restructure itself.
Greece plans to sign a document on political support for Gazprom’s Turkish Stream project at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June, its Energy Minister announced on Monday. The country plans to invest $2 billion in its construction.
A memorandum on political support for the gas pipeline project will be prepared by June 18-20, when the International Economic Forum (SPIEF-2015) will be held in Russia’s St. Petersburg, Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis announced on Monday. Continue reading
PARIS (Sputnik) – Iranian gas could be delivered via the Turkish Stream pipeline being developed by Russia in the future, Azizollah Ramezani said on the sidelines of the Gas Congress in Paris.
“There may be a common field, for example in the area of gas pipelines… In the future Iranian gas pipelines could possibly reach Europe and Russian gas pipelines to Europe may be joined and deliver gas together to Europe.” Continue reading
December 2014 saw the reemergence of competition between rival pipeline projects in Eurasia—similar to the earlier competition between the Nabucco natural gas pipeline, proposed by a consortium of European companies, and Russia’s South Stream. Currently, Russia’s new proposed pipeline project—Turkish Stream—is challenging the Azerbaijani-initiated Southern Gas Corridor, which will carry Caspian-basin gas to Europe via the South Caucasus, Turkey and then across Southeastern Europe.
Turkey is already signed on to the Southern Gas Corridor—the Corridor’s longest pipeline segment, the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), will cross Turkey from east to west—but it is also being strongly courted by Moscow to host Turkish Stream (see EDM, December 17, 2014; February 20, 2015). This growing significance of Turkey in competing large-scale energy transit projects across Europe and Eurasia has also opened up a discussion domestically regarding which prospective energy union the country should become part of—European or Eurasian. Continue reading
According to Bloomberg, the Greek government is €400 million short of the amount needed for payment of pensions and salaries this month, citing a Kathimerini report.Surprisingly, this takes place even as Greece’s IKA, OGA pension funds have been informed by the government that amount needed for payment of pensions will be deposited today, while the Greece’s OAEE pension fund has said payment of pensions won’t be a problem.
In other words, someone is not telling the truth: either there is enough money or there isn’t. And if the latter case is valid, then either the government or the pensions are now openly lying to the population. Continue reading
It has been a very disturbing 24 hours for Greece.
It all started during yesterday’s surprisingly short, just one hour long Eurozone finmin meeting in Riga, where Yanis Varoufakis not only got the most “hostile” reception yet being called “a time-waster, gambler, and amateur“, but for the first time one minister openly said that maybe it was time governments prepared for the plan B of a Greek default. This happened after Jeroen Dijsselbloem slammed the door on Varoufakis’ proposal for early cash after partial reforms. Continue reading
As a reminder, don’t count Greece out mainly due to the energy factor. They could very likely be a regional oil & gas hub for the European continent that’s too important to let go. Therefore, don’t be surprised if the Troika gives a few concessions towards the increasingly desperate and belligerent Greeks. Where the energy supplies actually come from, be it from Russia or another Mediterranean land such as Cyprus, is yet to be seen — although the latter would break Europe free from Russia.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Turkish Stream gas pipeline could help Greece become one of the main power distribution centers in Europe, President of Russia Vladimir Putin said. Continue reading
Petrakos told Spiegel that Greece wants “to deepen its relations with Russia in the energy sector” and get significant mutual benefit from this. The Greek delegation will talk to the Russian Minister of Energy, Alexander Novak, and the head of Gazprom, Alexei Miller. The periodical reminds that Gazprom controls about 70% of the Greek gas market. Continue reading