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Turkish (Pipeline) Delight

As Ed Crooks points out in the FT on the new Russia-Turkey deal on the South Stream pipeline, in the geopolitics of energy, there are no friends, only partners.  Here’s what the Russians paid the Turks to sign on to a pipeline that cuts them and Ukraine out of the loop:

To buy Ankara’s support, Russia is expected to help with a long list of important projects for Turkey, including an oil pipeline from Samsun in the north of the country to Ceyhan in the south, and one or more nuclear power stations, fulfilling a long-cherished Turkish dream.

It looks as though Mr Erdogan has managed to exact a good price for his support: a sign of how important these pipeline routes are. (…)

In one of the ironies of history, it is Turkey that is now at the heart of those hopes for bringing gas to the EU.

A country with almost no oil or gas resources of its own, Turkey finds itself in an unexpectedly powerful strategic position, between the EU and many of the world’s most energy-rich countries. Surrounded by Iraq, Iran, the Caspian states, Russia and – more distantly – Egypt, Turkey is uniquely well-placed to control flows of gas into Europe.