Turkey, the EU and Natural Gas

Natural GasRussian natural gas brings many problems to the EU, not the least being the vulnerability of its supply. This became evident when pricing disputes in January 2009 between Belarus and Ukraine halted flow to several EU countries dependent on this gas. Russia supplies about 25% of the EU’s natural gas needs and several member countries are almost 100% dependent on this gas. For this reason Nabucco’s “Southern Corridor”, intended to transport gas from ex-Soviet Central Asia and possibly northern Iraq and North Africa, is seen as strategically important to the EU.

Nabucco Gas Pipeline

Without Turkey aligned with the EU this alternative route for natural gas loses some of its security significance. Traditionally, Turkey, Russia and Iran have been competitors in this region but if they were to become future allies, some speculate, EU’s energy future could become endangered.

The EU’s current attitude towards Turkey’s membership could be just what it takes to drive it towards alliances which EU could come to regret in the future. Personally, I have a feeling that the next few months will prove to be a make or break period which will put down the foundations of not just the TRNC’s future but perhaps the entire region. Perhaps the EU will put off making a firm decision about Turkey’s EU membership but as Mikhail Gorbachev once said: “life has a way of punishing those who come too late.”

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