01/07/2021

Geopolitics

Alternative Version of the South Stream: “TurkStream””

The sources of energy that enable the economic stability and development of Central and Western Europe are predominantly located in the Russian Federation. It is ambiguous, however, how these raw materials can physically get from the Russian gas fields to Central and Western Europe. During the years of the bipolar world, Ukraine, as a member state of the Soviet Union, served as the primary transit country towards the West, however, after the disintegration of the Eastern Bloc, the smoothness of this route has slowly evaporated. From the beginning of the second decade of the new millennium, the Russian-Ukrainian relations have reached a century-long depth, which necessitated the construction of alternative energy routes bypassing Ukraine. One of these new paths is the TurkStream gas pipeline, on which Turkey – and indirectly – Central Europe might win a lot.

Despite the will of the United States, the Russian Federation has managed to diversify her gas transfer routes towards Europe. The new infrastructures enable to bypass Ukraine, which may not only lose her monopoly in this field, but the gainful transit fees as well. The TurkStream is not only a huge possibility for Russia and Turkey, but for some EU member states, mainly Bulgaria as well. A few of the countries, however, lack the necessary funds to build their own infrastructure, which can lead to indebtedness.

Running an Industry

The basic precondition for the operation of every developed market economy is the guaranteeing of continuous energy flow. Failure to do so will make a country vulnerable, which could result in serious economic and social consequences. Much of the energy resources which serve on a wide basis from enabling the smooth operation of heavy industries to providing proper residential heating of Western and Central European countries are situated in the Russian Federation. In the past, due to her geographical location, Ukraine served as the primary country for oil and gas transport Westward, however, over the last 30 years, she has been widely criticized for her unprofessional approach to this issue.

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Map of the Natural Gas Transmission System of Ukraine. Source: EEGA[i]

[i] EEGA – East European Gas Analysis: Ukrainian Gas Pipelines. Access:  https://eegas.com/ukraine.htm (06/25/2021)

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