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ItaliaOggi ITALIAOGGI - NUMBER 281 & nbsp; PAG. 18 & nbsp; DEL & nbsp; 28/11/2018
The trunk of the TurkStream which passes through the Black Sea has been inaugurated by the President and Erdogan

Vladimir Putin's goal is to cut Ukraine out
Russian President Vladimir Putin with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte

There are two new gas pipelines in the Moscow plans to be built with the declared intention of cutting Ukraine out after tensions with Moscow following the annexation of Crimea. In addition to the TurkStream (from the Russian city of Anapa to the Turkish village of Kiyikoy), construction of the Nord Stream 2 from the Russian port of Ust-Luga to the German Greifswald is under construction in the northern part of Europe. The new pipeline will run parallel to the existing Nord Stream 1, in operation since 2012, which transports Russian gas directly from Europe from Vyborg, Russia, to Greifswald, Germany via the Baltic Sea. However, the Nord Stream 2 project is criticized by Brussels, fought by Poland, and Denmark opposes it with the support of the United States. Washington has accused Russia of wanting to consolidate its control over Central and Eastern Europe through its gas pipelines.

Meanwhile, the creation of the Russian energy hub TurkStream, in the south of Europe, beyond the friendship between Moscow and Ankara, has the aim of supplying Russian gas to the European Union with a route that surrounds Ukraine, by cutting it out. And to extend the gas supply network from Moscow to the old continent. Just the opposite of what Brussels wants to do, which instead intends to reduce the EU's dependence on Putin's gas.

As of 2019, TurkStream will transport 31.1 billion cubic meters of gas per year (about 60% of Turkish consumption) through the two parallel sections. The first is for Turkey which will replace the current 16 billion cubic meters of its current Ukrainian supplier. The second stretch is aimed at the European market, but its path still remains somewhat hazy.

Gazprom is engaged in a speed race with the European Commission which fights Gazprom's monopoly in Europe and in this logic has already aborted the Southstream project. Gazprom's exports to Europe broke a new record in 2017, recording further growth of 8%. 25% of the gas consumed in the European Union in 2017 was imported from Russia.

On the western side of TurkStream, Bulgaria, which already buys 100% of its gas from Russia, aspires to become the European gateway. A way for Sofia to overcome the failure two years ago of another similar project called South Stream. But Bulgaria is not the only pretender. Serbia is also part of the potential customers. Viktor Orban's Hungary cultivates his friendship with Putin and last year signed an agreement with Gazprom that will allow him to receive from 5 to 6 billion cubic meters of gas. Finally, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who has pledged to eliminate European sanctions against Moscow, was received by Vladimir Putin.

In the long term, Turkey's gas demand, potentially higher than the current 16 billion, could suck most of Russian production, according to the calculations of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (Oies) taken from Le Figaro. And this would force European customers to settle for crumbs and dissuade potential transit countries, such as Greece, from financing infrastructure. According to Thierry Bros, researcher at Oies, Gazprom's main goal is to ensure the supplies of his Turkish client through TurkStream. When the needs of European customers will have to be met by Nord Stream 2, on site, but on which many uncertainties weigh. In the projects it is expected to transport 55 billion additional cubic meters to the EU.

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