Germany welcomes a Bulgarian initiative to organise a European Commission-Turkey summit and the construction of a gas hub in Varna, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday (20 January) in Sofia, after talks with Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov.
The European Commission is expected to approve the second thread of the Turkish Stream pipeline stretching to Bulgaria's Black Sea shore, according to Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borrisov who warned that the EU is becoming over-dependent on gas transited via Turkey.
Turkey, a country poor in energy resources, has voiced its ambitions to leverage its geographic position by becoming an even more important crossroads of supply routes and a giant energy hub, saying this would “improve” the EU’s energy security.
Hungary signed a deal with Russia's Gazprom to link the country with the Turkish Stream pipeline by end-2019 yesterday (5 July), a day ahead of President Donald Trump's trip to Poland, where he is expected to promote US LNG exports.
Greece and Turkey put a territorial dispute in the Aegean on the back-burner in talks in Athens on Monday (19 June). The two countries' prime ministers instead focused on their common commercial interests ahead of another round of UN-sponsored talks on Cyprus.
The European Commission hopes to bring together the friends and the foes of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project around a mandate which would guarantee that Ukraine would remain a transit country for Russian gas to the EU.
The Commission asked the member states on Friday (9 June) for a mandate to negotiate with Russia an agreement on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. It is very likely to obtain permission, despite several Central European countries strongly oppose it.
Russia is in negotiations with Greece and Bulgaria regarding the entry point on EU territory of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is quoted as saying by the Russian press.
Poland is spearheading criticism of the Commission's proposed “entente” that would end a five-year antitrust case against Gazprom for abusing its dominant position in eight countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
The European Commission’s efforts to integrate the EU internal market and diversify the gas supply away from a single supplier along the Central European model have started to pay off. Yet, risks lie ahead, write Martin Vladimirov and Sijbren de Jong.