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Putin’s New Europe Gas Deal via Turkiye Could Launch Now

Oct. 18, 2022 (EIRNS)—Despite the sabotage of three of the four of Russia’s Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, along with Europe’s present determination to move away from Russian fossil fuels, President Vladimir Putin continues to organize for a “new gas world.” Last week, Moscow Times recalls, Putin proposed that the European Union should either commission the remaining, still functioning thread of Nord Stream 2, or switch gas supplies to a Black Sea route via the TurkStream pipeline.

Vedomosti reported on Oct. 17 that, according to Russia’s National Energy Security Fund Deputy Director Alexey Grivach, the implementation of the Turkish gas hub project is one possible option to redirect gas flows via new routes. He pointed out that, even without building additional infrastructure, it is possible to launch the hub, because both TurkStream and Blue Stream have spare capacities. Then the “capacity may be increased later, as infrastructure expands in the European Union,” the expert explained.

Deputy Director General of the National Energy Institute Alexander Frolov, also in Vedomosti, estimated that the first stage of infrastructure construction aimed at creating a gas hub in Turkiye—specifically, the building of two more threads of TurkStream—will take two to three years.

Meanwhile, experts have emphasized that the project may face “significant political obstacles,” Vedomosti writes. Frolov believes that resistance from the European Commission is to be expected. Kira Vinokurova, the Special Advisor on Sanctions Issues at the Pen & Paper bar association, considers that the provision of equipment and technologies may be restricted for the project. However, in her view, if the EU’s energy substitution policy fails, no restrictions will be imposed on the project.

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