By Nigar Abbasova
The European Commission has reacted to the recent proposal of the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to link the Turkish Stream pipeline, which is being developed by Russia, to the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), via which Azerbaijani gas is to be delivered to Europe in 2020.
The EU declared about its commitment to the policy of diversification of gas sources, counterparties and routes for the reduction of dependence on a single dominant supplier or route, an informed source in the European Commission told Trend on August 10.
“The commission aims at creating more interconnected and competitive gas markets in Europe in order to achieve this objective, with such initiatives as, particularly, the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC)," said the source.
The source also said that the European Commission is familiar with the statements of the Russian and Turkish sides after their meeting in St. Petersburg on August 9, but it doesn't have any particular comment to make in connection with the Turkish Stream, stressing that any infrastructure, including pipelines covering the territories of the EU will have to fully respect the EU laws.
Earlier, Turkish FM said Ankara will buy only 16 billion cubic meters of Russian gas per year via the Turkish Stream while the remaining volume of Russian gas can be exported through Turkey via TANAP by connecting it to the Turkish Stream, stressing that TANAP is a priority project for Turkey.
Turkish Foreign Ministry, TANAP Consortium and Energy Ministry of Russia have not yet provided any details on the statement of Cavusoglu.
Implementation of Turkish Stream project, which envisages gas supplies of Russia to Turkey and further to Europe bypassing Ukraine, was on the agenda during the St. Petersburg meeting of heads of states on August 9.
Realization of the project was frozen due to the deterioration of Russia-Turkey ties connected with the shoot down of a Russian Su-24 bomber with two pilots on board. Nevertheless the issue became topical following the mending of relations between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Alexander Novak, Russian Energy Minister told Russia 24 that Russia and Turkey may sign intergovernmental agreement on the “Turkish stream in October, 2016, mentioning that a special working group will be created in this regards. He said that the draft agreement will include realization of at least one of the branches covering the ground of the Black Sea to the territory of Turkey, stressing that the implementation of the second branch will be possible, should the EU provide necessary guarantees.
Turkish Stream project is aimed at delivery of Russian natural gas to Southern Europe via Turkey. The pipeline was announced by President Putin in December 2014 during a visit to Turkey.
President Erdogan recently said that the Turkish Stream project will be implemented, adding that the country will take the necessary steps to ensure the supply of Russian gas to Europe through the pipeline.
The $10 billion TANAP pipeline is expected to transport gas of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field from the Georgian-Turkish border to the western border of Turkey. The gas will be delivered to Turkey in 2018, and after completion of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline’s (TAP) construction, the gas will be delivered to Europe in early 2020
TANAP shareholders are Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR (58 percent), BOTAS (30 percent), and BP (12 percent).
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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