EU Will Not Block Turkish Stream

EU Will Not Block Turkish StreamEU Will Not Block Turkish Stream

The Turkish Stream pipeline, which would route Russian natural gas supplies to Europe through Turkey and Greece, would enhance the continent's energy security, therefore the European Commission will not block its construction, a prominent US think tank wrote in a report.

The pipeline project would also incentivize European Union-based companies to invest in infrastructure in southeastern Europe, integrating countries such as Romania and Bulgaria, which are greatly disconnected from the rest of the continent, into the more mature natural gas markets in Central Europe.

However, despite these potential benefits, Turkish Stream also presents a real problem for Europe, Sputnik reported.

By providing an alternative route for Russian natural gas heading to Europe by circumventing Ukraine, it would give Russia the ability to diminish the importance of Ukraine as a transit state.

The Kremlin would have a way to cut off supplies to Ukraine without cutting off the rest of Europe, lowering the political cost to Moscow of leveraging natural gas to gain sway over Kiev, the Stratfor analysts warned.

In response to this concern, the Energy Union Package unveiled by the European Union on February clearly laid out plans to involve Ukraine in any future European energy market.

This would effectively entwine the fates of the European and Ukrainian energy sectors.

By increasing the infrastructure connecting Ukraine to Europe and placing Ukraine under the umbrella of EU legislation, the continent would be able to send natural gas piped through Turkish Stream on to Ukraine.

Although Brussels probably will not seek to incentivize the Turkish Stream, it will also not stand in the way of the pipeline's construction, as long as Russia adheres to the Third Energy Package, the Stratfor report concluded.