Putin sues Turkish gas hub for supply of Nord Stream

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia will either redirect supplies to the damaged Nord Stream pipeline to the Black Sea and create a European gas hub in Turkey, or an intact part of Nord Stream 2. could even be used to supply the EU.

An investigation is underway into last month’s explosion that ruptured the Russian-made Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea bed.

Putin said the pipeline could be repaired and that Russia and Europe should decide its fate.

“We could transfer the lost volume from the North Sea Current along the bottom of the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea region, creating a major route for fuel, natural gas to Europe via Turkey, creating the largest gas hub in Europe. is in Turkey,” he said at an energy conference in Moscow.

“That is, of course, if our partners are interested in this. Of course, the financial feasibility as well.”

The problem is that European Union countries are seeking to end Russia’s dependence on oil and gas after sending troops to Ukraine as part of what Putin calls a special military operation.

Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmes said at the same meeting in Moscow that the idea was new to him but should be discussed.

“It’s the first time we’ve heard of this, so it’s too early to make an assessment,” Donmes said. “These are things that need to be discussed.”

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller praised the Turk Stream pipeline across the Black Sea, noting that it is much deeper than the Nord Stream.

“Regarding hubs, there is no doubt that the issue of trading platforms on the border of the European Union and Turkey can be considered,” Miller said.

“Ball in EU Court”

Putin also said that Russian gas could be supplied to Europe through part of the still intact Nordstream 2 pipeline, but that would depend on the EU.

node stream gas leak
On September 27, 2022, near Bornholm, Denmark, bubbles from a leak from Nord Stream 2 reaching the surface of the Baltic Sea in the region show disturbances well over a kilometer in diameter. (Document via Danish Armed Forces Command/Reuters)

“It is possible to repair gas pipelines that run along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, but this only makes sense if it is more economically justified,” he said, adding that the pipeline would be safer. He added that it was necessary.

“There is one tributary of Nord Stream 2 that seems to have survived,” Putin said. “Russia is ready to launch such deliveries. The ball, as they say, is in the courts of the European Union.”

Miller said the pipeline could be repaired, but the EU would have to say whether to fix it and make it safe.

Three of the Nord Stream pipelines are damaged. This leaves only his one line in operation, Nord Stream 2 with an annual capacity of 27.5 billion cubic meters.

“We are ready to provide additional supplies for the fall and winter,” Putin said.

The pipeline that sparked the Ukraine crisis was leaking gas into the Baltic Sea off Denmark and Sweden.

Russia is not only the world’s largest natural gas exporter, it is also the second largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia, and is a member of the OPEC+ producer group that decided to cut production last week.

Putin said Russia plans to keep oil production and exports at current levels until 2025 and that despite Western sanctions, Russia will hold onto its leading position in global energy markets. rice field.

“We hope these decisions are good for both oil producers and consumers,” Putin said. “Coordinated actions of OPEC+ partners will continue to ensure market stability and predictability. I have no doubt that.”

Vladimir Soldatkin and Oksana Kovzeva