Turkey's energy sector watches Ukraine's political crisis

Photo:  Turkey's energy sector watches Ukraine's political crisis  / Turkey

Turkey's energy sector has been watching Ukraine for the potential effects of the country's current political crisis World Bulletin reported.

"We do not have any concerns regarding the Russian natural gas flowing through Ukraine," Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said. "Because this is not an issue between Russia and Ukraine, this is an international matter."

Energy and Infrastructure Investment expert Cengiz Gunes also said that the natural gas flow from Ukraine would not be affected by a possible intervention from Russia. "There might be temporary cessations of natural gas supply, however this can be tolerated. Additionally, gas prices are decided upon international agreements. Therefore a change in the natural gas prices are also unlikely," Gunes said.

Commenting that Ukraine will become a member of the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement, if it becomes a member of the European Union (EU), Gunes said in this case the EU and also the United States would be able to give financial aid to Ukraine. "However Russia openly said that Ukraine is in their sphere of influence. Therefore Russia will try to guarantee the sale of its own gas," he added.

Caspian Strategy Institute (HASEN) Energy and Economy Research Center Expert Cemil Ertem, on the other hand, believes that a possible Russian intervention to Ukraine would increase the price of natural gas.

"It is not possible to foresee whether the intervention of Russia will be diplomatic or military," Ertem said. "However Russia will try to turn the situation into an opportunity and go for an increase in the gas prices."

Russia is Turkey's biggest natural gas supplier, supplying more than half of its annual 45.2 billion cubic meters from Russia's energy giant Gazprom. The gas purchased from Russia enters Turkey via two different pipelines, one of them is the West Stream pipeline, which passes through Ukraine.

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