During his recent trip to Ankara, President Vladimir Putin said on December 1 that the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline project for Southern Europe would be terminated due to the negative position of both Bulgaria and Brussels. Instead of that, it was proposed to build a gas pipeline through the territory of Turkey to its western borders with the EU, where it will be possible to create a kind of a “gas hub” for the countries of Southern and South-Eastern Europe. Naturally, this has caused a nervous reaction of some Europeans. It is one thing to bluff to the tune of the Americans, while it’s quite another to lose an opportunity to purchase gas directly from Russia, bypassing another difficult transit country – Turkey, instead of unreliable Ukraine. What we are talking about here means to “bargain one trouble for another”.
And the fact that Ankara is not the easiest partner for Brussels is understandable; after all, it was EU that for decades stubbornly refused Turkish membership in the EU. At the same time they are actively involving Turkey in NATO plans in relation to Iraq and Syria. And almost immediately the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Ms. Federica Mogherini, arrived as a head of the representative delegation to meet with President Erdogan in an attempt to convince him to refuse from engaging in President Vladimir Putin’s gas project proposal.
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