Friday, August 7, 2009

Turkey's Strategic Importance

An article in this morning's Times (by Sebnem Arsu, here), gave me a sense of Turkey's extreme importance in the world energy market.

Vladimir Putin just reached a deal with Recep Erdogan (who is still Turkey's prime minister) in which (a) Turkey granted to Gazprom the use of certain waters in the Black Sea (so that Gazprom can build the "South Stream Pipeline" to eastern and southern Europe) and (b) Russia agreed to assist with building a pipeline across Turkey, from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. Silvio Berlusconi was also present for the agreement-signing, although the article does not make clear why.

The interesting part is that Turkey signed an agreement with European governments, just last month, to build the "Nabucco Pipeline," which will compete with the South Stream Pipeline and is an attempt by European countries to undercut Russia's control of natural gas shipments.
As part of the Russia/Turkey deal, Putin also agreed to reopen talks on Russian assistance to Turkey with building nuclear power plants. Greenpeace members showed up to protest this aspect of the deal.

274. Is Berlusconi still taking heat in Italy for his escapades with the young women?

275. Where does Erdogan stand, relative to other Turkish politicians/leaders, on the Islamist continuum?

No comments:

Post a Comment