Russian-Turkish energy initiatives ‘dividing’ Europe, US official quoted as saying

Russian-Turkish energy initiatives ‘dividing’ Europe, US official quoted as saying

The US is opposed to the TurkStream gas pipeline, which carries Russian natural gas to southern Europe through Turkey and was inaugurated on Wednesday, and the Nord Stream pipeline through the Baltic Sea as undermining European energy security and unity, a senior State Department official has been quoted as saying.

“Nord Stream 2 and the second line of TurkStream do nothing to advance Europe’s energy security goals and would provide Russia another tool for the political and economic coercion of European countries, especially Ukraine,” the unnamed official told the Hellas Journal website.

“Russia understands that these projects are dividing Europe, and is using that to its advantage,” the official was quoted as saying.

Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey inaugurated the project on Wednesday at a ceremony in Istanbul that was also attended by the leaders of Serbia and Bulgaria.

Russian gas producer Gazprom will ship about 3 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year to Bulgaria via TurkStream, replacing a route that formerly passed through Ukraine and Romania. Gazprom shipped about 3 bcm to Greece and about 500,000 mcm to North Macedonia via that route last year, Reuters has reported.

Russia is building TurkStream in two pipelines, each with an annual capacity of 15.75 bcm. The first pipeline will supply Turkey and the second will extend from Bulgaria to Serbia and Hungary, Reuters said. [Combined reports]

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