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Abstract: For any state, whether they are developed or developing, ensuring energy security for the sustainability of their systems is very critical issue. European states cannot be independently considered from this phenomenon as they have high dependence on foreign hydrocarbon suppliers. After 2006 and 2009 gas crises between Russia and Ukraine, both Moscow and Brussels have been searching for alternative transit routes other than Ukraine. The EU has advanced Southern Gas Corridor in which its flagship project is TANAP. On the other hand, Moscow has developed South Stream. But after the breaking out of recent Ukraine Crisis between Russia and West in November 2013, a tension has been escalating between them. Therefore, Kremlin has cancelled the South Stream by showing grounds the reluctance of EU on this project and instead offered Turkish (Turk) Stream. Both TANAP and Turkish Stream do have one common feature in which they will serve for Turkey’s aspiration of being an energy terminal for Europe.

Keywords: Energy Security, Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline, Turkish Stream, Turk Stream.



In the contemporary world, one of the most central issues for both the developed and the developing states is to ensure the sustainable development. In order to continue to materialize this, they are in need of energy resources namely oil and natural gas. Within the context of current energy geopolitics, the natural resources are not equally distributed around the world. The eastern part of the world has abundant natural resources whereas the western part of the world does not sufficiently possess these resources. One cannot view the European continent totally out from this reality. Because almost all countries located at this continent have ever increasing dependence on foreign suppliers especially within the milieu of oil and natural gas.

There are four natural gas suppliers of Europe namely Russian Federation, Algeria, Norway and Qatar. Among them, the chief supplier is Moscow who meets almost one third of Europe’s gas demands. By the way, the Russian gas is carried to Europe via Ukraine and Belarus. Until 2006, any problems had not been seen regarding the transportation of Russian gas to Europe. The fundamental reasons of 2006 and 2009 great gas crises between Moscow and Kyiv were the price disagreement as well as the latter’s orientation to the Western world. Therefore, Kremlin firstly warned Kyiv then cut off gas flows to European countries in which this occurred during the severe winter conditions. After these two significant gas crises, both the Russian Federation and the European Union have started to think necessary precautions for not encountering with such crises once again. They have begun to develop alternative gas corridors other than Ukraine. The Russian side has developed the Nord Stream and South Stream Gas Pipeline Projects.  On the other hand, Brussels has been accelerating on the advancement of the Southern Gas Corridor with Baku wherein this corridor is comprised of Trans Anatolian and Trans Adriatic Pipeline Projects.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, one of the fundamental targets of Turkish foreign policy’s energy dimension has been to turn out to be a central energy terminal and hub of Europe. Ankara underscores that it is capable of being an energy bridge between the world’s natural resources suppliers and the demanding countries dependent on these resources in the 21st century’s Eurasian geopolitics. After the 2006, 2009 and recent Ukraine crises, both Brussels and Moscow have been in search for new reliable transit countries. However, since November 2013, there has been continuing an escalating tension between Moscow and the West on Ukraine. The European Union has shown disinclination on the construction of South Stream Project. In that context, Kremlin has terminated the South Stream and instead decided to develop a new natural gas pipeline project with Ankara named as Turkish Stream. Thus, Ankara has been started to be taken into consideration by both the Russian Federation and the European Union.

Consequently, this paper mainly argues that not only Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project but also Turkish Stream do have one shared feature in which both of them will help Turkey’s aspiration of being an energy terminal for Europe. Therefore within this context, how the development of Turkish Stream and TANAP Projects will affect the European energy security after the ongoing Ukraine Crisis will be examined in this paper. The key parameters of European energy security in the current situation will be given in the first part of the paper. The emergence of Southern Gas Corridor will be looked at in the second part of paper. The reasons for the development of South Stream Project and its process of then turning into Turkish Stream will be discussed in the third and final part of the paper.

The European Energy Outlook

The European Union (EU) need to renew interest in improving its energy policies and promoting energy security. Europe uses energy for all its requirements and the signficance of energy has been growing rapidly day by day. The EU imports more than half of its consumes. Crude oil dependency is more than 90 percent and natural gas is 66 percent.[1] The EU has the world’s second greatest economy and it consumes one fifth of the world energy. That means, European states are dependent on the rest of the world for its energy. A significant instrument of EU’s energy supply strategy has been transformed to use of natural gas. Europen states’ dependency over Russian gas paves away Russia to become a greatest natural gas supplier.[2] Russia is supplying 34 percent of Europe’s gas demands. The EU has some significant energy strategies such as;

1-)      Securing Europe’s energy supply,
2-)      Guaranteeing energy costs not affecting Europe’s competitiveness,
3-)      Protecting environment from climate change and
4-)      Developing energy system.[3]

Therefore, if European countries’ dependency over Russian natural gas reserves is considered physically, Europe has to find alternative sources for meeting its natural gas demand. State-controlled Gazprom has attempted to dismiss alternative projects for European states by offering counter pipeline projects to be under the control of Moscow. According to Obama’s energy strategy, diversification of energy supply for Europe has a critical importance for continent’s political and economical future. However he has avoided from clearly expressing concerns about Russian regional energy strategy because President Obama does not want to jeopardize relations with Russian Federation completely. In the past, European authorities has some concerns about potential cutoffs and decrease in Russian natural gas supplies to Europe.

Russia has been an energy hub state having a control over transportation of natural gas to Europe. Moreover, it has been trying to encircle the European gas market.[4] Although we have seen great dependence on Russian natural gas, Europe has some important alternative energy projects to benefit from recent changes in global natural gas developments. For instance, Central Asia has the greatest amount of energy reserves for European states but these supplies should transit Russia to arrive European market. Richard Morningstar, the State Department’s Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, indicated that US strategies aim and encourage the improvement of new Eurasian oil and natural gas resources to increase the diversity of world energy supplies. Secondly, Washington aims to increase European energy security, in this way, states depending on single supplier may have alternative suppliers in the future. Thus, the White House supports the development of Southern Corridor of Caspian natural gas export ways over Turkey to Europe. Consequently, there are many options to Russian natural gas for Europe but there are many possibilities to consider replacing all Russian natural gas imports for Europe. For instance, some great European energy companies have huge economical interests in continuation of the Russian supplies and it does not disturb them depending on one country.

Europe has to be seen as a largest regional market. EU should defend its interests on the international arena to guarantee that its energy supplies are secure. Energy ought to be part of European internal and external policies that include development aid, trade and bilateral cooperating agreements.[5] In recents years, the EU has been trying to diversify its energy supplies and energy transportation roads. For instance, Southern Gas Corridor has a fundamental impact on European access to the substantial gas resources in the Caspian basin. The EU’s 2050 roadmap aims to reduce its energy dependency and increase energy security. This strategy stresses on diversifying sources of external energy supply and improving energy infrastructure. In the long run, energy is going to remain significant on the European agenda. European states have been geographically surrounded by various energy supplier states. If EU prefers to enlarge its borders to the main hydrocarbon supplier lands such as Russia, Caspian Sea and North Africa and get close to Middle East and Persian Gulf, EU states may have geopolitical stability and energy supply security. Moreover, there has been interdependence between producer, terminal and consumer countries, that’s why; it needs to establish close relations and cooperation with supplying partners. It ought to support geopolitical and economical stability in supplier as well as transit countries.

energy consumption by fuel


The Emergence of the Southern Gas Corridor

Trans-Anatolia Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP)

The Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project is a 2000 km. long pipeline designed to have the capacity of 16 billion cubic meters per annum in which  6 billion cubic meters of this gas will be reserved for Turkey as of 2018 and the rest will make it ready for Europe in 2019.  In contrast to Nabucco, TANAP has been put forward as a joint project of Ankara and Baku.[6] Actually, this project does represent a vital significance for Baku and SOCAR in that they will play a chief role in the transportation of natural gas from its Shah Deniz field further down the supply chain to Europe sooner than just the seller of its own gas at its border. What is most important in that context is TANAP has a great advantage in the financing part of the project. Thanks to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Crude Oil Pipeline, Baku has been accumulating huge sums of money. Therefore, Baku can directly provide funds to the construction of the infrastructure. Actually, the TANAP Project is projected to cost approximately between $7-10 billion which can easily be met by Baku through benefiting from its sovereign wealth fund, the State Oil Fund, now having $34 billion assets under management.

proposed southern corridor pipelines


The Shah Deniz consortium has acknowledged the final investment decision for the Stage 2 development of the Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea, offshore Azerbaijan December 17, 2013.[7] The Shah Deniz Stage 2 and South Caucasus Pipeline enlargement projects will totally be costing roughly $28 billion. SOCAR and the Shah Deniz partners have also settled on the extension of the Shah Deniz Production Sharing Agreement up to 2048. Rövnag Abdullayev, president of SOCAR, has highlighted that “This is a truly historic day for Azerbaijan. This is the first time that our country and this region have embarked upon such an ambitious gas project.”

The Shareholder Agreement for Shah Deniz Project between TPAO-TOTAL, Shareholder Agreement of TANAP between BOTAŞ-SOCAR, and Natural Gas Transit Agreement of TANAP between BOTAŞ-TANAP A.Ş. was signed on May 30, 3014.[8] Besides, it is underlined that TANAP Project will be materializing a noteworthy transmission infrastructure for future more gas from Turkmenistan and other prospective supply sources in the region, alongside the gas to be attained from Shah Deniz Phase-2 and Phase-3 and Abşeron Gas Fields. Furthermore, BOTAŞ will organize for per annum 20-22 bcm extra gas supply opportunity for Turkey, if needed, with this big project with massive transportation capacity cannot be brought about by investments to increase the capacity of present carrying systems. BP 28.3%, TPAO 19%, SOCAR 16.67%, Statoil 15.5%, Lukoil 10% does represent as the final shareholding structure of the Shah Deniz Consortium.

The Kars province of Turkey did host the ground-breaking ceremony of TANAP Project on March 17, 2015.[9] President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili did attend this ceremony. Erdoğan has underlined the fact that this project does have sui generis significance due to its route and target as well as does not form an alternative project when compared with others. TANAP is a unique project which will connect Europe with Caspian via the assistance of Southern Gas Corridor. On the other hand, Turkish energy minister Taner Yıldız has emphasized that Turkey has plans to turn out to be an energy transmission center of the region. Thanks to TANAP Project, ensuring energy supply security for Europe will be realized by Southern Gas Corridor. Yıldız has also pointed out that the project which will be passing around 20 cities will be creating 5,000 jobs in Turkey. On the other hand, the TANAP Project does hold a fundamental support of the European Union. According to Maros Sefcovic, the Commission’s Vice President responsible for the Energy Union, underscores that this project is strategically significant for both Europe and the Caspian region. Therefore, in this context, Sefcovic adds that “the European Union is totally ready to back up the realization of this grand project.” Erdoğan points out that alongside the gas, the peace and stability will also have been transported by this project.[10] Aliyev underscores that a new kind of an alliance is being established in the Eurasia region which will bear significant outcomes. He underlines that all the agreements related to the realization of the project among Ankara, Baku and Tbilisi have been completed successfully, meaning that TANAP Project will be materialized.

South Stream or Turkish Stream as a Russian Counter Project

South Stream

Moscow has been successful in the prevention of realization of Nabucco Project through its indirect interventions. It has also developed Nord Stream in Baltic Sea and South Stream in the Black Sea in order to bypass the transit countries within the context of energy supply to Europe. With the Nord Stream Natural Gas Pipeline, Kremlin has targeted the direct gas transportation to Germany with the intention of not being dependent on the transit countries in the Eastern Europe.[11] Thanks to the 55 billion cubic-meter Nord Stream, Russia has had the opportunity to export directly to the Western Europe first time in the history. With this project, Kremlin has acquired the flexibility of using energy supply as a political tool over the Western Europe as well as on the Eastern Europe in which their transit state position has been weakening. Moscow has intended to transport its natural gas to Europe through bypassing Turkey and Ukraine. The total length of South Stream pipeline was projected to reach 2400 km having the carrying capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas per annum. The construction of this pipeline was fastened due to the confrontation between Moscow and Kyiv. The South Stream was considered to be operational as of the end of 2015.

The ultimate advantage of both Nord Stream and South Stream Projects for Gazprom is that they would nonstop provide gas to Europe, accordingly eliminating all transit risk. Even so this gas will still have got to be transported through manifold borders and over long distances inside Europe before it does grasp Long Term Supply Contracts’ carriage points – the geographical location of which does go far beyond the Russian border.[12] That transportation is governed by the EU Third Energy Package (TEP) adopted in 2011, regulating third party access to pipeline capacity based on issued tariffs ratified by national regulatory authorities,[13] unbundling of transmission assets, and authorization of transmission system operators (TSOs). Particularly the existing TEP does not determine the procedures for the edifying and operation of new pipeline capacity, albeit those procedures are being established by European regulators, TSOs, and the European Commission in the form of a Capacity Allocation Mechanisms Network Code amendment, envisioned to come into effect in 2017/18. Hence, although transit-avoidance pipelines would hypothetically present a transit-free geography for Russian gas exports to Europe, therefore undertaking a problem of insecure transit, they do come across another key matter that is to with the altering European regulatory environment.

Besides, Brussels, which has reached and ratified an association agreement with Ukraine[14], would have been in a difficult condition for supporting South Stream as it would further minimize the Kyiv’s transit position and its clout against Kremlin. If Kyiv chooses to benefit from this tool, hinder with transit streams, the south east European countries would be wounded of supply cut offs; these areas have constrained means to substantially upturn their security of supply earlier than 2020.[15] If Ukrainian transit does pose a central risk, as possibly seems, and then the EC will be coming upon pressures from Southeast European countries for reaching a deal with Moscow, predominantly if the offshore section of the pipe will have been completed prompt in 2015. This forces the EC with a very hard choice to make concerning South Stream.

In November 2013, the then Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych did suspend the negotiations on an association agreement with the European Union. Although the signing of the Association Agreement would only be realized after the implementation of the economic arrangements by Ukranian government, the freezing of the preparation commission by Kyiv showing “the national security concerns” as the fundamental reason, has created disappointment in Europe, satisfaction in Moscow and shocked the third parties. This decision paved way for the large scale anti-government demonstrations in the Maidan of Kyiv. This resulted with the overthrow of Yanukovych. Given the strategic importance of Ukraine for the Russian Federation as well as Europe, they have started to provide every kind of assistance to their supporters. Ukraine’s very critical transit situation within the context of European energy security has increased the concerns within the European Union. They have feared on new gas supply disruptions by the Russian Federation just like it did in 2006 and 2009. Russian side has warned and threatened Ukraine with the gas cut off in case of not paying its debts.

Recent Ukraine Standoff

After the overthrowing of President Yanukovych by pro-European protestors on Kiev’s Maidan in February 2014, Moscow held the control of Crimea.[16] Clarifying violent unrest in Eastern Ukraine, the assembly of Russian troops at Russian-Ukrainian border and Kremlin’s noncompliance to the April 2014 Geneva Agreement designed for letting down the accelerating tension between Brussels and Washington on one side and Moscow on the other. The result has been the most severe confrontation between East and West since the downfall of the USSR, with conceivably long term foreign policy effects. Energy has grown into to be a warm matter in the political discussions during the crisis. Andreas Goldthau and Tim Boersma[17] have set forth some alternatives on the energy supply issue within the milieu of existing Ukraine crisis which are;

  • Send American Liquefied Natural Gas to save Europe,
  • Setting up a common European gas purchasing instrument and
  • Sanctions pointing to Russia’s oil sector.

Under the sponsorship of Brussels, Moscow and Kiev agreed on for starting of natural gas supplies to the latter during the winter time on October 30, 2014.[18] The EU Energy Commissioner, Günther Oettinger has stressed that “he was confident that Ukraine would be able to afford to pay for the gas it needed. The agreement might be the “first glimmer” of hope in easing tensions between Russia and Ukraine. We can say to the citizens of Europe that we can guarantee security of supply over the winter.”[19] This agreement does embrace EU’s backer role for Kiev’s gas imports from Kremlin plus offer aid to Kyiv so as to meet its huge debts. The package does represent worth of € 2, 87 billion with money that will be arranged for by IMF and Brussels.

The European Union backs up Ukraine. For this, Brussels has been trying to take necessary precautions to hinder Russian impact over Ukraine. Therefore, within the context of this aim, EU will politically and economically support Ukraine in the name of keeping this country on its side. This support is constantly emphasized by EU top officials.[20] For Prof. Mesut Hakkı Caşın, academician at the Law Faculty of Özyeğin University and Senior Fellow at the Centre on Foreign Policy and Security in Caspian Strategy Institute, the fundamental reason of the recent Ukraine Crisis is the integration process of Ukraine to the EU and its giving up of signing the Association Agreement with the EU. Brussels is moving slowly in terms of the implementation of extra commitments that will support Ukraine. The economic crisis as well as the Greek Question does prevent the implementation of these commitments. Caşın underscores that the EU does aim to keep Ukraine on its side through Kyiv’s integration with NATO, therefore provide Ukraine’s foreign policy orientation in harmony with the United States.[21] Ukraine’s security could only be ensured with its approaching to Washington. Thus, for Caşın, it has to integrate with the policies of the White House. Given the extension of the sanctions over Russia by the EU on its March 19-20, 2015 Summit, Moscow has started to implement counter measures toward the European Union including the food ban from Western countries as well as putting the EU officials on blacklist.

As of March 2, 2015, Moscow and Kyiv have settled on the natural gas supply till the end of March 2015 after the persistent conflict over gas supplies to Eastern Ukraine within the context of talks underwritten by the EU.[22] EU Commission Vice President for Energy Union Mr. Maros Sefcovic has addressed that “He is satisfied that we managed to safeguard the full application of the Winter Package for the supply needs in Ukraine. We also agreed to take up trilateral negotiations on the follow-up to the Winter Package. I am reassured that the supply of gas to the EU markets remains secure.”  In the joint “Energy Council” held by Washington and Brussels, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has remarked on Russian-Ukranian gas agreement and also on European energy security “Russian-Ukranian deal is a very important deal and it is very successful with respect to the long-term situation. It’s important. And part of our meeting today is really to talk about providing a sustainable energy plan for Europe – for actually more than Europeans – so that all of us can deal not just with issues like climate change, but the economy and the stability of the economy and the stability of the supply. And obviously, it’s not a good idea to depend anywhere in the world on one source. There are disruption and vast implications.”[23]

In that point, it can be mentioned the Russian-Ukranian gas deal is seen as very critical by Europe and the United States. From the Russian side, this deal is also a very important one. When it is considered within the context of European energy security, this deal has prevented the reoccurrence of a new gas crisis in Europe which might bear undesired results. Because most people in Europe still remember the bad consequences of 2006 and 2009 gas crises. When it is elaborated within the energy security perspective of Washington, by this deal, Europe’s energy security has been ensured for a while. For the Western capitals, Ukraine has a very vital natural gas transit point in that almost 70 per cent Russian gas does come via this country to Europe. Therefore a disagreement on this issue between Moscow and Kyiv had to be resolved. Given this factor, this deal does have a great significance for the energy security of Europe. But the White House believes that Europe has to further work on diversifying its natural gas resources. From the Russian side, Ukraine’s geographical location is very central for the transportation of its natural gas to Europe in which both Kyiv as well as Europe continue to be Russia’s prominent customers within that regard. Moscow never wants to lose these two customers. But when the economic situation of Ukraine is taken into consideration and whether or not Kyiv will be financially supported by the IMF and Brussels is not certain, because the Greek Question tops the agendas of these two institutions, this deal has a shaky status.

The Cancellation of South Stream and the Emergence of Turkish Stream

Due to lingering political crisis between Russian Federation and Ukraine based on the latter’s orientation toward the West, the invasion of the Crimea by Moscow, continuing embargos and sanctions by Europe and United States to Kremlin, Brussels has suspended the authorization process for the South Stream and has instigated to support the pipeline projects to carry natural gas from Baku as an alternative.  In response to this, on December 1st, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin together with 10 ministers came to Ankara for an official visit.[24] In that visit, very momentous decisions on energy issues have been declared by Moscow and Ankara. Among them, the annulment of the South Stream Natural Gas Project by Kremlin has come into forefront. Mr. Putin had stated the dissolution of the South Stream Pipeline in his visit to Turkey, revealing resistance from Brussels as the cause for the decision. After Kremlin’s postponement decision of South Stream, Gazprom and Botaş have agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding for the creation of an offshore gas pipeline through the Black Sea toward Turkey. Gazprom’s Management Committee Chairman Alexey Miller and Botaş Petroleum Pipeline Corporation’s Chairman Mehmet Konuk in Ankara, Turkey did sign this MoU. The Russian President Vladimir Putin and Republic of Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have also taken part to this signing ceremony. The newly presented gas pipeline to Turkey would do embrace a capacity of 63 Bcm, with 14 Bcm to be committed to Turkey, and approximately 50 Bcm to be conveyed to the border between Turkey and Greece, where a carriage point would be chosen. The Russkaya compressor station presently under construction in Russia’s Krasnodar Territory is predicted to be the pipeline’s start point. Other details of the project are yet to be made known. Vladimir Putin has also stressed that “Bearing in mind that you need to construct the pipeline under the Black Sea, we cannot begin construction so long as we do not have permission from Bulgaria. The position of the European Commission was not constructive … If Europe does not want to realize it, well, then, it won’t be realized. [25]

turkish stream map


Putin’s announcement on the invalidation of South Stream Project in his visit to Ankara with 10 ministers on December 1, 2014, radically reshuffles Eastern Europe’s political energy map. Sofia and Belgrade will have got to forget to the vista of hundreds of millions of dollars of transit fees from South Stream. Brussels is up to be pleased about a sporadic political success, having reinforced to end South Stream. Kyiv also does streak a rare achievement, even as it does run into cataclysm in several areas.[26] Ankara symbolizes as the utmost victor. Ankara’s objectives to turn into be an international gas hub are enhanced, with the view of it receiving abundant new gas supplies from Kremlin, accompanied by the volumes it does now get from the Caspian Sea, Northern Iraq, and Iran. The most encouraging issue is what does this mean for Baku which has been trying to convert itself to be an oil supplier to a gas supplier, given the fact that Baku’s oil incomes begin to decline. Baku objects to send gas to southern Europe via Turkey through the TANAP and TAP pipelines in the forthcoming terms. De Waal underscores that if this can be carried out; the new Russian-Turkish gas project may well be a competitor to Baku’s gas goals and hold the profit margins of that project even more. But the materialization of a new Russian Black Sea pipeline would still form a testing matter. With the purpose of transporting its gas to European markets, Gazprom would be required to enjoy the new TANAP pipeline, controlled by a consortium comprised of BP, BOTAŞ, TPAO and SOCAR as a dominant stakeholder. According to one Azerbaijani commentator “TANAP comes to be the foremost gas link”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has buttressed Sofia in its struggle to seek out new negotiations with Kremlin vis-à-vis the South Stream gas pipeline after Moscow did interrupt the project this month in favour of a different route via Turkey.[27] It is assumed that it is against EU Law, but later on some EU member states consider the pipeline going around Ukraine, as the principal means to assure their own gas supplies and economic interests and still expecting that it can be restored. After conversing with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov in Berlin mentioned that “We need to examine all legal questions surrounding the South Stream project and then use these to move discussions forward with Russia. Numerous contracts have already been agreed and it is important for both sides to remain reliable partners.”

On March 14, 2015, Vladimir Puchkov, Russian Emergencies Minister, and Numan Kurtulmuş, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, reached a deal for empowering mutual collaboration in infrastructure safety which is closely affiliated with the realization of Turkish Stream. After the third world conference held in Sendai, northern Japan regarding disaster risk reduction, Puchkov has underscored that “Such agreements will allow to ensure the security of the implementation of infrastructure projects carried out by Turkish companies on the territory of Russia as well as those carried out by Russian organizations on the Turkish territory. In particular, cooperation will be strengthened on the Turkish Stream pipeline project.”[28]

The annulment of the South Stream and the new pipeline project named as Turkish Stream offered by Moscow does show that Moscow is very determined to put all its cards on the table within the context of great energy game. Moscow also wants from the West to understand that it can easily find new partners like Turkey. Turkey’s cold relations with the Europe and the increasing Western pressure on Moscow for its Ukraine policy have resulted in with the further rapprochement between Ankara and Moscow.


In today’s world, for any states whether they are developed or developing, ensuring the energy security is their foremost concern. This forms a vital issue when the sustainability of their systems is taken into account. The Europe as a continent cannot be thought apart from this phenomenon. Because it includes both the most developed and developing countries, heavily dependent on foreign energy suppliers especially in terms of oil and natural gas.

Europe does get most of its natural gas from the Russian Federation, Algeria, Norway and Qatar. According to the projections, Europe’s need for natural gas, due to its being the most environmentally friendly energy source, is now on high levels and is expected to increase to 600 billion cubic meters in 2025-2030 period. Also within that context, Europe’s dependence on foreign natural gas suppliers is anticipated to grow in parallel with its natural gas demands.  One has to remind the fact that the chief natural gas supplier of Europe has been Moscow since the Cold War as it does meet almost one third of the continent’s natural gas demands. This relationship was to be realized without facing any problems until 2006. In 2006, not only price disagreement but also Ukraine’s tilting toward Europe and the West between Moscow and Kyiv, the former cut off the gas flows to Ukraine which seriously affected almost whole Europe. Another huge gas crisis happened in 2009 between Russia and Ukraine also because of same reasons like 2006. Moscow again halted the gas streams to Kyiv which had serious impacts on whole Europe during the hard winter times. After these two key gas crises, both Brussels and Moscow have very seriously begun to work on natural gas pipeline projects based on different routes other than Ukraine. The reason for that has been the willingness and decisiveness of both the EU and the Russian Federation not to face such crises ever again. For the European part, in collaboration with Azerbaijan, the EU has been concentrating its entire initiatives to develop the Southern Gas Corridor, based on Baku’s huge natural gas reserves in Shah Deniz 2 Field. The Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project and the Trans Adriatic Natural Gas Pipeline Project do constitute the main pillars of this ambitious gas corridor. In the forthcoming years, it is also projected to include the natural gas reserves of, Turkmenistan, Eastern Mediterranean, Northern Iraq and Iran to this gas corridor.

On the other side of the coin, the Russian Federation has been developing the Nord Stream and South Stream Natural Gas Pipeline Projects bypassing Ukraine as well as to sustain its dominant and reliable supplier within the context of European energy security. But after the breaking out of Ukraine Crisis in November 2013 between Moscow and the Western world, just as in other things, everything has started to alter especially in the realization of South Stream Project. Given the escalation of tension between Kremlin and the West, the EU has been attaching much more importance on the materialization of Southern Gas Corridor and behaving unwillingly toward the realization of South Stream. Therefore, the Russian side has annulled the South Stream Project during Vladimir Putin’s visit to Turkey on December 1st, 2014 and has announced the construction of “Turkish Stream” between Turkey and Russian Federation. For the last couple of weeks, Moscow and Athens have been negotiating on the latter’s involvement to this project. Russia is also developing a huge natural gas pipeline project with China named as “The Power of Siberia”; a thirty year contract cost $400 billion with a capacity of 38 billion cubic meters per annum. As the current economic situation and sanctions over Russian Federation on its Ukraine Policy will continue during the next years, it is being from now on questioned that whether Moscow can allocate necessary resources for the materialization of these projects. But it should not be forgotten that economic interests always come first among the states in the current world politics.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Turkey has been targeting to come out to be energy corridor as well as energy terminal in the Eurasian geopolitics due to the fact that Turkey is located in proximity to a region where more than world’s 70% of proven oil and natural gas resources takes place. Ankara underlines the fact that it can easily play the role of being a transit country between the world’s richest natural resources’ holders and the energy hungry countries of the Europe. Turkey also targets to become one of the Europe’s leading energy terminals within that context.

Ankara’s sui generis location within that framework is closely watched by both Brussels and Moscow. Turkey does believe that the projects in the Southern Gas Corridor and Russian gas pipeline projects are not alternative to each other. Because, both of these projects are/will be vital for the energy security of Europe. When these projects are materialized, they will be beneficial for all the parties included in these projects. To conclude when it is considered within the perspective of Turkey, the materialization of these projects will be serving for Ankara’s intention to be a noteworthy energy terminal of Europe in the forthcoming years.

Sina KISACIK & Furkan KAYA



[1] European Commission, “Communication from the Commission to The European Parliament and The Council: European Energy Security Strategy”, May 28, 2014, Accessed on April 12, 2015 from

[2] Michael Ratner, Paul Belkin, Jim Nichol and Steven Woehrel, “Europe’s Energy Security: Options and Challenges to Natural Gas Supply Diversification”, Congressional Research Service, August 20, 2013, Accessed on April 12, 2015 from , p. 5.

[3] European Commission, “Sustainable, Secure and Affordable Energy for Europeans”, 2012, Accessed on April 12, 2015 from

[4] Rufat Rustamov and Fotis Stergiopoulos, “European Energy Security, Gas Supply and Demand”, Economics, Management, and Financial Markets, Vol. 6, No: 1, March 2011, p. 781.


[6] Simone Tagliapietra, “The EU-Turkey Energy Relations After the 2014 Ukraine Crisis: Enhancing Partnership in a Rapidly Changing Environment”, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei Nota Di Lavoro, 75. 2014, Accessed on April 9, 2015 from ,  p. 5.

[7] “Shah Deniz Final Investment Decision Paves Way for Southern Corridor Gas Link with Europe”, Pipeline & Gas Journal, A P&GJ Staff Report February 2014, Vol. 241 No. 2, Accessed on November 18, 2014 from

[8] “May 30 2014-Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) Project: BOTAŞ’s share in TANAP Project increased to 30% from 20%. The share of TPAO in Southern Caucasus Pipeline Expansion Project also increased to 19% from 9%”, Accessed on November 18, 2014 from

[9] Murat Tinas, “TANAP Secures First Step with Groundbreaking Ceremony”, Natural Gas Europe, March 18, 2015, Accessed on April 7, 2015 from

[10] Cemre Nur Öztürk, “TANAP’s construction kicks off”, The Journal of Turkish Weekly, March 17, 2015, Accessed on April 7, 2015 from

[11] Mesut Hakkı Caşın, Novgorod Knezliği’nden XXI. Yüzyıla Rus İmparatorluk Stratejisi, Ankara: Atlas Kitap, 2015, pp. 703-707.

[12] Ralf Dickel, Elham Hassanzadeh, James Henderson, Anouk Honoré, Laura El-Katiri, Simon Pirani, Howard Rogers, Jonathan Stern and Katja Yafimava, “Reducing European Dependence on Russian Gas: distinguishing natural gas security from geopolitics”, The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, OIES Paper: NG 92, October 2014, Accessed on December 1, 2014 from , p. 65.

[13] Official Journal of the European Union, “Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council 17 April 2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure and repealing Decision No 1364/2006/EC and amending Regulations (EC) No 713/2009, (EC) No 714/2009 and (EC) No 715/2009, (Text with EEA relevance), April 24, 2013, Accessed on December 9, 2014 from

[14] Naftali Bendavid, “EU, Ukraine, Russia Reach Deal on Association Agreement,” The Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2014, Accessed on December 13, 2014 from

[15] Dickel, Hassanzadeh, Henderson, Honoré, El-Katiri, Pirani, Rogers, Stern and Yafimava, “Reducing European Dependence on Russian Gas: distinguishing natural gas security from geopolitics”, pp. 66-67.

[16] Andreas Goldthaua and Tim Boersma, “The 2014 Ukraine-Russia crisis: Implications for energy markets and scholarship”, Energy Research & Social Science 3 (2014), Elsevier, May 8, 2014, Accessed on December 9, 2014 from , pp. 13-15.

[17] Andreas Goldthau is a Marie Curie Senior Scholar & Visiting Scholar, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, United States. Tim Boersma is an expert in Energy Security Initiative, Brookings Institution, United States.

[18] “Russia, Ukraine agree on gas supplies until March 2015,” RT, October 31, 2014, Accessed on March 3, 2015 from

[19] European Commission Press Release Brussels, “Breakthrough: 4, 6 billion dollar deal secures gas for Ukraine and EU”, October 30, 2014, Accessed on March 3, 2015 from

[20] “European Commission Press Release Database, “Speech by President Juncker on “Reforming for Ukraine’s future”, Reform Conference, Kyiv”, April 28, 2015, Accessed on July 9, 2015 from

[21] “Interview made by the authors with Mr. Prof. Dr. Mesut Hakkı Caşın on July 09, 2015”. Also please see Mesut Hakkı Caşın, “Energy Security after the Ukraine Crisis: Will the European Union Need to Scramble for New Energy Supply Options?” , Caspian Strategy Institute Analysis, March 20, 2014, Accessed on July 9, 2015 from

[22] “Russia, Ukraine clinch deal on natural gas delivery: EU”, Press TV, March 2, 2015, Accessed on March 3, 2015 from

[23] John Kerry Secretary of State, “Remarks at U.S.-EU Energy Council”, European External Action Service Brussels, Belgium, December 3, 2014, Accessed on December 9, 2014 from

[24] Suzan Fraser and Vladimir Isachenkov, “Putin says Russia will scrap South Stream gas pipeline”, Associated Press December 1, 2014, Accessed on December 9, 2014 from

[25] Andrew Rettman, “Putin says will not build South Stream gas pipeline”, EU Observer, December 2, 2014, Accessed on December 8, 2014 from

[26] Thomas De Waal, “Winners and Losers in the Black Sea Gas Game”, Carnegie Moscow Center, December 3, 2014, Accessed on December 16, 2014 from

[27] Alexandra Hudson, “Merkel urges Bulgaria to seek new talks with Putin on South Stream”, Reuters, December 15, 2014, Accessed on December 16, 2014 from

[28] “Russia, Turkey Agree to Boost Cooperation on Turkish Stream Project”, Sputnik News, March 14, 2015, Accessed on March 16, 2015 from

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