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02 December, 2014

Fresh smart moves by Putin in the geopolitical field

What do they mean

globinfo freexchange

The new agreement between Russia and Turkey for the construction of a 63 bcm gas pipeline during Putin's visit in Ankara yesterday, is probably another win of Putin in the geopolitical field.

From RT:

Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller said the energy giant will build a massive gas pipeline that will travel from Russia, transit through Turkey, and stop at the Greek border – giving Russia access to the Southern European market. The pipeline will have an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters. A total of 14 bcm will be delivered to Turkey, which is Gazprom’s second biggest customer in the region after Germany. Russia’s energy minister Aleksandr Novak said that the new project will include a specially-constructed hub on the Turkish-Greek border for customers in southern Europe.

While the pipeline will be registered as a Russian company, Miller said that Gazprom will 'consider offers from Turkish partners if they express an interest in buying into the project.' [...] Moscow will also reduce the gas price for Turkish customers by 6 percent from January 1, 2015, Putin said. Later, Novak said the discount could reach 15 percent, subject to negotiations.

Novak later confirmed that Vladimir Putin personally ordered for the South Stream project to be mothballed, and its existing facilities to be repurposed for the new Turkish pipeline. The much-delayed South Stream was supposed to connect underwater Black Sea pipelines with a network in Eastern Europe, with Bulgaria as the entry point.”

The first strong signal from Russia to the EU, is that it has many alternative ways to bypass sanctions and barriers against other projects like the South Stream pipeline. Putin clearly expressed his dissatisfaction about the barriers imposed by the EU concerning the deployment of South Stream (, and the deal with Turkey showed that he is determined to build alternatives.

So far, the EU forced Greece and Bulgaria to play the game according to the interests of the Western big companies: “Also, the failure of selling the Greek gas company (DEPA) to Russians, was not accidental, since in this case, Gazprom would have become the basic stakeholder of the Greek-Bulgarian pipeline IGB, in which the Greek company participates. And this means that the supply of Bulgaria and Romania with gas from Azerbaijan would be impossible. The 180 degree turn of European Commission is characteristic, since, while appeared at the start supporting fully the Nabucco pipeline, subsequently withdrew its support, since Nabucco was no longer competitive against Russian interests pipeline South Stream.” (

However, the details of the new agreement show that Russia probably wants to put Greece back in the game, seeing that there are dramatic changes in the political landscape not only in Greece, but also in Europe that could change dramatically the geopolitical status. (

At the same time, Russia sees an opportunity to play a key role, especially in the eastern Mediterranean, therefore seeking agreements which increase the stability in the region and minimise the possibility of various conflicts. There was a tension lately between Greece and Turkey, after Turkey sent a ship to the waters off the coast of Cyprus for oil and gas exploration.

The third and probably most significant gain by Putin, is that shields Russia more effectively from the unpredicted and dangerous expansion of the jihadists of Islamic State to the north and especially to Chechnya which would bring trouble to the door of Russia. Through such deals, Turkey will be forced to defend its soil to protect huge investments that could contribute significantly to the economy, while will consider to support or even tolerate the jihadists as they could grab major energy pipelines.

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