Turkey’s EU admission is important for European energy security: Trend commentator

Turkey’s EU admission is important for European energy security: Trend commentator

Elmira Tariverdiyeva, Trend European desk commentator

Washington's fixed idea to diversify gas supplies to Europe bypassing Russia forces U.S. to take steps to address EU's important problem - ensuring security of energy supplies via Turkey.

U.S. President Barack Obama said during the EU-U.S. unofficial summit on April 5 that he supports Turkey's riving for the EU admission, however Obama's call was not followed by any response in Brussels.

If to think over the statement, it seems to mean the following: U.S. which lobbies gas pipeline's crossing Turkey, tries to secure Europe against political and economic speculations by Ankara and strongly rejects "Ukrainian" scenario of gas wars.

The three gas pipelines which U.S. lobbies - Nabucco, Trans-Adriatic and Poseidon (Turkey-Greece-Italy) will deliver gas from the Caucasus and Central Asia via Turkey bypassing Russia. Diversifying gas supplies to Europe via the afore-said three pipelines depend on Ankara. Turkey has a reason to "punish" EU to a great degree.

Turkey has been negotiating to enter EU for many years. Half of the EU member states oppose Turkey's membership.

Therefore Turkey's position causes fears and anxiety almost among all participants of the gas project.

Of course, Turkey supports all gas projects and is ready to cooperate with all EU and Central Asia countries. Turkish Energy Minister Gular urged the EU to take more active steps regarding Nabucco and persuaded Central Asian countries to adopt a decision as soon as possible and give guarantees on supply of gas via this pipeline, that is, via Turkey.

Obviously, Turkey wants to serve as a key gas transit junction from the Central Asia and Azerbaijan to Europe. Turkey has good chances to get engaged in commerce with Europe and obtain sufficient transit stakes.

By transiting gas meant for Europe, Turkey can dictate its political conditions for EU taken into consideration the position the unified Europe has towards Turkey's European integration.

Given thee factors Obama understands that Turkey's accession to EU and reliable gas transit from the Caspian region to Europe are interrelated issues. 

On the other hand Ankara needs to understand that Europe may want to end dependence on not only Russian, but also Turkish dependence. EU is considering supply of gas from the Caspian region via Azerbaijan, Georgia, via the Black Sea seabed and Ukraine and onwards to the Central Europe.

In this case Turkey will not benefit from the transit and Turkish government will lose means of pressure on the EU position.

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