Support independent journalism in Central & Eastern Europe.
Donate to TOL!
Trump signs a waiver to avoid harming European energy independence from Russia, while Bulgaria hopes to woo Moscow and become part of the TurkStream pipeline.8 August 2018
The European Union-backed SGC, when finished, will transport gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz offshore across Georgia, Turkey, Greece, and Albania to Italy. Most importantly, it would bypass Russia, which supplies about 30 percent of Europe’s natural gas and from which European countries are seeking greater energy independence.
Iran's NICO, a Swiss-based subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company, has a 10 percent share in the Shah Deniz fields, the main source of the corridor’s natural gas, which could make it a target for U.S. sanctions against Iran’s petroleum sector investments that will be reinstated in November.
Meanwhile, in another development that could affect Europe’s energy capacity, Bulgaria boosted its gas transit capacities after opening a new looping section of its transit gas pipeline to Turkey last Friday, Reuters reports.
“Now we have constructed a pipeline that will allow for reversible flows, so we can get gas from Turkey, from Azerbaijan and Russia,” Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said at the official ceremony of the 20-kilometer (12-mile) link in the southeast of the country.
Sofia hopes that Moscow will choose it as an entry point for its TurkStream pipeline, which is expected to become operational next year, and to allow Russia to bypass Ukraine, at this moment the main transit route for Russian gas to Europe.
TurkStream is made up of two pipelines bringing Siberian gas under the Black Sea to Turkey, the first one providing gas for local consumption. Bulgaria, competing with Greece, has its eyes on the second pipeline, which is intended to ship Russian gas to Serbia, Hungary, and Austria, according to Reuters.
The United States has said it opposed Turkstream for security reasons.
Transitions magazine = Your one-stop source for news, research and analysis on the post-communist region.
Sign up for the free TOL newsletter!
The Moldovan Diaries is a multimedia, interactive examination of the country's ethnic, religious, social and political identities by Paolo Paterlini and Cesare De Giglio.
This innovative approach to story telling gives voice to ordinary people and takes the reader on the virtual trip across Moldovan rural and urban landscapes.
It is a unique and intimate map of the nation.