The TurkStream pipeline, supplying Russian gas to Turkey under the Black Sea, will boost energy security of the entire southern Europe and the US won’t interfere with it, said Sakir Arikan, managing director of TurkAkim Gas.
The much-anticipated 930km pipeline was launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during a special ceremony on Wednesday. The massive infrastructure project was completed in less than three years, despite active resistance from Washington.
The US was alarmed that TurkStream would make Europe overly “dependent” on Russian energy supplies – and less eager to buy more expensive American LNG. When asked if he was expecting any further American attempts to derail the project, such as sanctions threats, Arikan said no.
I don’t think so, because the pipeline is already completed and started… Everything is done.
TurkStream wasn’t the first time when Washington threatened Ankara with sanctions, political analyst Yusuf Erim noted, referring to the US push to stop Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems last year, which ultimately failed.
The Turks have shown that they’re willing to stick to their guns when it comes to matters of national security…. and Turk Stream is a matter of national security when it comes to energy.
Arikan, whose company built the Turkish section of the pipeline, agrees the new route through a “reliable” transit country “will enhance the supply security of gas in this region.”
“We hosted the President of Serbia [Aleksandar Vucic] and Bulgarian Prime Minister [Boyko Borissov] here, also there are some guests from other countries in Southern Europe,” Arikan said. “This gas will directly go to these countries – Greece, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, [Serbia], Bulgaria, maybe Romania, and then go to Hungary and Austria.”
Mithat Rende, board member of the Turkish energy company ENGIE, pointed out meanwhile that the launch of TurkStream allowed Ankara to achieve diversification of energy supply routes, which it was looking for since the late 1990s.
The pipeline is “important for Turkey as we aren’t gas producers,” he told RT. The gas will arrive directly from Russia to a receiving station located some 100 km west of Istanbul, powering Turkey’s largest city but also the industrial zones around it.