Commentaries
Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:24
A New Game Between Russia, Turkey, EU
TEHRAN (FNA)- On January 8, 2020, the presidents of Turkey and Russia formally launched the TurkStream pipeline which will carry Russian natural gas to southern Europe through Turkey, part of Moscow's efforts to reduce shipments via Ukraine.

The pipeline project, stretching 930 km across the Black Sea, reinforces strong energy ties between Moscow and Ankara, which have also increased defense cooperation after Turkey bought advanced Russian missile defenses last year.

In 2008, natural gas supplied via Ukraine to Europe accounted for 95 percent of Russia's total exports to Europe. In order to bypass Ukraine, Russia has in the past initiated the construction of Nord Stream 1, Nord Stream 2, Blue Stream, South Stream and other pipelines.

Following the Ukraine crisis, Russia-EU relations deteriorated, and the South Stream project was halted. Russia decided to build TurkStream on the basis of Blue Stream. TurkStream, Nord Stream 1 (in operation) and Nord Stream 2 (still under construction) can bypass Ukraine, and together, will form a strategic corridor for Russia's natural gas supply to the EU.

TurkStream is conducive to strengthening the Russia-Turkey strategic cooperation. After the TurkStream project kicked off, Russia-Turkey relations quickly warmed up. Russia sought to deepen relations with Turkey through energy cooperation and strengthen Russia-Turkey strategic cooperation, so as to have Turkey's political support, mitigate the adverse impact of Western sanctions, and strengthen its influence in the Middle East.

The pipelines will also partially mitigate the impact of Western sanctions. Russia's economic growth is heavily dependent on energy exports. After the Ukraine crisis, Russia's economy has been thrown into a crisis and has not yet recovered. 

TurkStream will not only boost Russia's natural gas exports to Turkey, but also expand its gas supply to southeastern European countries such as Greece, Hungary and Serbia, hence increasing its energy export revenue.

In this respect, Turkey has nothing to lose and all to gain. Firstly, as Turkey faces a shortage of domestic energy production and relies heavily on energy imports, the arrival of TurkStream will reduce its dependency on the Middle East for energy imports and give it access to a long-term stable source of natural gas supply.

Secondly, the pipeline will strengthen Turkey's strategic position as an energy hub. Its geographic position is close to Russia, the main energy producers in the Middle East and energy importers in Europe. 
For many years, Turkey has been committed to building energy infrastructure in the hope of linking energy importers and exporters. The completion of TurkStream will consolidate its position as an energy hub, and Turkey will also be able to collect transit fees to balance its energy trade deficit.

Thirdly, the inauguration of the pipeline will increase Turkey's leverage against the US and EU. Contradictions between the US and Turkey over Kurds, Syria and other issues have intensified in recent years. Stronger strategic cooperation with Russia will allow Turkey to align itself with Russia against the United States. 

Besides, the country's accession to the EU has been stalled. Through the TurkStream project, Turkey will be able to improve its status as an energy transit country and gain greater leverage in its engagement with the EU.  
 

 

 

 

 

Bottom top
Burnt Port: Destruction Left by Deadly Beirut Blast in Drone Footage

TEHRAN (FNA)- Drone footage revealed more of the aftermath of a deadly explosion that devastated the port of Beirut on Tuesday. Smouldering debris and flattened buildings were captured by drone, which swept over the city and the coastal area. [VIDEO]
Lebanon: Wreckage Smoulders in Beirut Port after Deadly Explosions

TEHRAN (FNA)- Beirut's port was strewn with smouldering wreckage on Wednesday, one day after deadly explosions rocked the area. Tuesday afternoon's explosions left at least 137 dead, with roughly 5,000 wounded with the numbers of dead and wounded expected to rise further. [PHOTOS]
Life in Age of Coronavirus

TEHRAN (FNA)- People around the world adapt to a new normal of staying at home, social distancing and masks during the coronavirus pandemic. [PHOTOS]
US: Fire Crews Still Fighting 'Apple Fire' in California, Blaze 30% Contained

TEHRAN (FNA)- Firefighters in Southern California are still battling the "Apple Fire". CAL Fire said the Apple Fire is now 30% contained after burning through 27,319 acres in the mountains East of Los Angeles. [VIDEO]
Parents of Dead 6-Y/O Speak Out on Brutal Bedside Arrest, Manhandling at UK Hospital

TEHRAN (FNA)- A couple whose daughter was taken off life support against their wishes has won a court battle to publish footage of their brutal treatment by UK cops. After winning the right to have footage of Rashid’s brutal arrest at his dying daughter’s bedside made public the respiratory doctor and his wife – also a trained physician – are determined to stop such heinous maltreatment by NHS from continuing. [VIDEO]
Worldwide Coronavirus Infections Near 19 Million

TEHRAN (FNA)- More than 18.9 million people have been infected by the novel coronavirus globally and over 711,000 have died, according to global tracking websites. [PHOTOS]
Lebanon: Beirut Blast Survivors Experience Harrowing Ordeal

TEHRAN (FNA)- Lebanon is in mourning and surveying the damage to its capital, Beirut, after a massive explosion ripped through the city’s port and surrounding areas on Tuesday. At least 137 people were killed and 5,000 injured, with many still feared trapped under rubble. [PHOTOS]
Beirut Blast a Grim Reminder of Hiroshima, Nagasaki Nuclear Bombing

TEHRAN (FNA)- On Thursday, August 6, bells tolled in Hiroshima, Japan, to mark the 75th anniversary of the US dropping of the world's first atomic bomb.
Iran's Red Crescent Delivers 15 Tons of Food to Lebanon

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s Red Crescent Society has dispatched some 15 tons of food to Lebanon's Red Cross to be distributed among those affected by the devastating blast in Beirut, an IRCS official said.
Iran Calls for US’ Accountability at UN for Hostile Move against Mahan Airliner

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian envoy to the UN Majid Takht-Ravanchi asked for UN’s serious reaction toward two American warplanes’ harassment of his country’s passenger plane last month, and emphasized that Tehran would pursue the issue via relevant global bodies.
Speaker Calls for Realization of Unity among Muslim Leaders

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf congratulated Eid al-Ghadir to the political and religious figures of the Shiite world, and called for the materialization of unity among Muslim countries.
Iran Reports 2,125 New Coronavirus Patients, 132 Deaths

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian health ministry announced on Saturday that 2,125 new cases of coronavirus infection have been identified across the country during the past 24 hours, adding that 132 patients have passed away since yesterday.
Protests, Arrests at Eviction of Left-Wing Berlin Bar

TEHRAN (FNA)- Hundreds of German police officers faced off against protesters trying to stop the eviction Friday of a left-wing bar in Berlin that has been the focus of an anti-gentrification campaign.
Belgium Suspends Arms Exports to Saudi National Guard

TEHRAN (FNA)- Belgium's top legal authority suspended arms export licences for shipments to Saudi Arabia's National Guard after a complaint from human rights groups.
Brazil Rapidly Approaching 100,000 COVID-19 Deaths

TEHRAN (FNA)- Mexico hit a grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic Friday, crossing 50,000 deaths, while Brazil's death toll approaches 100,000.