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TurkStream as Russia’s Last Step in Diversification: A Win-Win Approach

This article discusses why Russia replaced the South Stream project with the TurkStream by changing its route and name, and why Turkey is involved in a project on the North-South line although it plays a vital role in the Trans-Anatolia Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project in the southern gas corridor. The article first examines the Russia-Ukraine natural gas crisis. It then moves to analyze the reasons behind Russia’s changing of the name and the route of the South Stream project. After exploring Turkey’s involvement in the project, the article concludes by arguing that both countries adopted a win-win approach toward the project that Russia has gained a significant tariff advantage and freedom from the EU third-party-access rule. The article claims that although both Russia and Turkey have different perspectives on some issues in international politics, they can develop their cooperation with a win-win approach in the TurkStream project.

TurkStream as Russia s Last Step in Diversification A Win-Win
Presidents of (R-L) Russia, Turkey, and Serbia turn the wheel at the ceremony to launch the TurkStream gas pipeline, İstanbul, Turkey, January 8, 2020. MIKHAIL METZEL / TASS via Getty Image
 

 

 

Introduction

 

Russia is Europe’s largest natural gas and crude oil supplier. Russia’s gas exports to Europe began to increase after the Second World War, starting with Poland in the 1940s, and Russia mostly met Europe’s gas needs -notably with pipelines passing through Ukraine. The Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod Pipeline, also known as the Brotherhood Pipeline, has been operational since 1967 and pumps 100 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year across a 4,500 km-long distance. It passes through Ukraine, Slovakia, then flows in two directions to Germany and several former Yugoslavian countries. Almost 40 percent of the European Union’s (EU) total gas import comes from Russia.1

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