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EU Will Not Block Turkish Stream Even for Ukraine’s Sake – Stratfor

© AP Photo / Nikolas GiakoumidisSections of gas pipes
Sections of gas pipes - Sputnik International
The Turkish Stream pipeline, which would route Russian natural gas supplies to Europe through Turkey and Greece, would enhance the continent's energy security because it would enable natural gas flows to Europe to continue uninterrupted, therefore the EC will not block its construction, a prominent US think tank wrote in a report.

A bar meter of pipelines of natural gas is pictured at the GreeK-Bulgarian borders in Promahonas, northern Greece - Sputnik International
Turkish Stream Will Guarantee Energy Security for Europe - Greek Minister
The pipeline project would also incentivize European Union-based companies to invest in infrastructure in Southeastern Europe, integrating countries such as Romania and Bulgaria, which at present are greatly disconnected from the rest of the continent, into the more mature natural gas markets in Central Europe.

However, despite these potential benefits, Turkish Stream also presents a real problem for Europe.

By providing an alternative route for Russian natural gas heading to Europe that circumvents Ukraine, it would give Russian the ability to diminish Ukraine as a transit state with great importance.

The Kremlin would have a way to cut off supplies to Ukraine without cutting off the rest of Europe, lowering the political cost to Moscow of leveraging natural gas to gain sway over Kiev, the Stratfor analysts warned.

Gas pipeline worker checks the valves at the Yapracik installations of Turkey's state-run BOTAS gas company on the outskirts of Ankara - Sputnik International
Russia Building Turkish Stream to Ensure Europeans’ Energy Security
In response to this concern, the Energy Union Package the European Union unveiled on February clearly laid out plans to involve Ukraine in any future European energy market.

This would effectively entwine the fates of the European and Ukrainian energy sectors.

By increasing the infrastructure connecting Ukraine to Europe and placing Ukraine under the umbrella of EU legislation, the continent would be able to send natural gas piped through TurkStream on to Ukraine.

Although Brussels probably will not seek to incentivize the Turkish Stream, it also likely will not stand in the way of the pipeline's construction, so long as Russia adheres to the Third Energy Package, the Stratfor report concluded.

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