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Ankara, December 01, 2014: Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan moments before they announced a plan to build the ‘Turkish Stream’ pipeline (photo: dpa)

Turkish Stream – reality or pipe dream?

Russia’s traditional use of pipeline diplomacy in Europe has been constrained by new geopolitical and market realities. The latest gambit from Moscow to exert leverage is the planned Turkish Stream gas pipeline, which last year replaced the cancelled South Stream project. Whether it will succeed is questionable, especially after Gazprom acknowledged on September 14 that Turkey’s political crisis had delayed the pipeline’s start date. Meanwhile, Russia faces a host of economic, financial, regulatory and political challenges on the European gas market that could frustrate its strategy of circumventing Ukraine. The best of Moscow’s dwindling options may be to scale back Turkish Stream to no more than half of its projected annual c...

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Dr. Frank Umbach
Legal complications also cast doubt on the viability of Turkish Stream. As even the company’s advisors admit, re-routing gas shipments to circumvent Ukraine could imperil some European contracts that are binding until 2028 and specify delivery volumes to the Slovak border
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