Turkey as an energy conduit and

Turkey as an energy conduit and

Ekimoff did not mention problems that Ukraine and Georgia faced last winter when their sources of gas were threatened or severed entirely.

Turkey possesses nearly no recoverable oil or gas reserves of its own, according to the U.

He urged "democratic countries" to find alternative sources of energy because of the "increased risk" posed by the "unique monopoly" enjoyed by Gazprom in Europe and as a means of "diminishing the political impact of using a single company Nabucco: This multinational pipeline, projected to open in , would transport gas mainly from Azerbaijan with future contributions from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and other sources to Central Europe through the Turkish gas hub of Erzurum. According to Kuzio, Russian President Vladimir Putin's desire to have a deal signed by the January 4 European Union energy summit outweighed his hope of reinforcing opposition to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko during the run-up to Ukraine's March 26 parliamentary elections. Romania is fortunate, as [President Basescu] mentioned, in that it has some oil and gas resources. To do this, it must reduce competition and maximize dependency on its own energy resources, as well as ensure a stable supply. But the project has been criticized by the United States for potentially making Europe more dependent on Russia for energy. Moscow has been accused in the past of jacking prices for political reasons. This is why Georgia's location is of key interest to the Euro-Atlantic community and Georgia's independence and security as a nation state is a major interest of the United States and Western Europe. However, as its own demand grows and its resources are depleted, it will have to import more. Questions about the economic and political viability of the project surfaced in late Eurasianet , although Turkish officials--including Foreign Minister Ali Babacan--were more optimistic following the Russia-Georgia conflict. But the U.

Bulent AlirizaTurkey project director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says posturing by Moscow has pushed Ankara to balance its cooperation with the West while expanding cooperation with Russia and Iran. And she pointed to four areas where U.

The biggest, he argues, is that the state-controlled Russian gas giant Gazprom holds a monopoly on natural-gas sales outside the CIS.

He urged "democratic countries" to find alternative sources of energy because of the "increased risk" posed by the "unique monopoly" enjoyed by Gazprom in Europe and as a means of "diminishing the political impact of using a single company Conceived in Februarythe project would enable EU countries to diversify supply while bypassing Russian territory.

Turkey, meanwhile, is keeping its options open. Both moves by Russia could force the United States and Europe to turn to Iran for future energy needs, a move to which Washington is averse as it moves to tighten sanctions on Iran for refusing to suspend its uranium-enrichment program, suspected as cover for developing nuclear arms.

Nabucco: This multinational pipeline, projected to open inwould transport gas mainly from Azerbaijan with future contributions from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and other sources to Central Europe through the Turkish gas hub of Erzurum.

The line was officially inaugurated in November

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Turkey at an Energy Crossroads