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Turkey and Europe in the energy wars with Russia

9 20 7

When the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline project to transport Azerbaijani oil to Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan came onto the agenda following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, I recall Russian diplomats telling me that the project would never be realized as they claimed it was not economically feasible. Similarly, when Moscow proposed to build the “blue stream” to deliver Russian gas directly via a pipeline underneath the Black Sea, I recall U.S. diplomats labeling it the “blue dream,” saying it would never be realized as there was no such technology suitable for the Black Sea’s deep waters.

In the end both sides were proven wrong. Both pipelines ended up being constructed and started operating by the first half of the 2000s. The reciprocal “smear campaign” by Washington and Moscow against each other reflected the new energy wars, as well a new form of political rivalry in the post-Cold War era. The U.S. supported by Europe tried to weaken Russia’s dominance over the energy rich former Soviet republics while Moscow tried to maintain its supremacy in its near abroad.

While Russia failed to prevent the construction of the BTC pipeline, it did succeed in obstructing the so-called “East–West corridor,” which was essentially based on transferring the energy resources of Central Asia, including the natural gas of........

© Hürriyet Daily News