Natural gas diplomacy of Russia with the EU and Turkey: political and security versus economic and environmental dimensions

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2016
Tosun, Kürşad
Energy relations among Turkey, Russia and the EU are very complex. In terms of natural gas, Russia wishes to secure its strong supplier status on Europe and Turkey, while the EU strives for diversity in gas pipeline routes and supply security. On the other hand, Turkey aims to strengthen its status as a transit country, at least preferably as a ‘hub’, and also seeks for diverse gas supplies. In recent years, Turkey was able to overcome difficult and sensitive political situations with successful maneuvers using its unique geopolitical advantages; and acceded to consent Russia to use its Exclusive Economic Zone in the Black Sea where South Stream Natural Gas Pipeline would cross. However, the EU blocked the South Stream Project and Russia has an intention to divert the route of the project towards Turkey. Moreover, Turkey has succeeded in converting the Turkish Section of the Nabucco Project into the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline Project (TANAP) together with Azerbaijan, to contribute to the energy security and energy supply diversification policy of the EU in order to decrease the dependence on Russia by including Caspian and probably Middle Eastern (Iraq) natural gas reserves. TANAP will be extended to Italy from Greece via the Trans Adriatic Project (TAP). Contrary to the arguments which emphasize the importance of financial, economic and environmental feasibility of these gas pipeline projects, this thesis argues that political and security dimensions play a more influential role in determining the prospects of the realization of the projects. Therefore, this thesis is based on the ‘political neoclassical realist approach to international relations’ framework.

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Citation Formats
K. Tosun, “Natural gas diplomacy of Russia with the EU and Turkey: political and security versus economic and environmental dimensions,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2016.