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Moscow Rubs Salt Into Washington’s Wounds: Turkish Stream Is Back — and It Signals Victory in Syria

A pipeline that will circumvent the west, built in partnership with a NATO member. The ultimate victory lap for Moscow.

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Gazprom has announced that it has the necessary financing to begin construction of the offshore leg of the Turkish Stream pipeline in the coming months.

This is an extraordinary development that signals that Washington's main objectives in Syria have failed.

<figcaption>Washington tried to keep them apart. It didn't work.</figcaption>
Washington tried to keep them apart. It didn't work.

The Turk Stream deal has been in the works for years, but negotiations with Ankara over the pipeline were halted after Turkey shot down a Russian jet over the Turkey-Syria border in November 2015.

Yet, despite Washington's best efforts to sabotage relations between Ankara and Moscow, the pipeline is now being fast tracked. The details:

Turkish Stream connects large Russian natural gas reserves to Turkey's transportation networks. The offshore component of the system, which will go through the Black Sea, will be built by Gazprom. The offshore pipeline will consist of two parallel pipelines, called Blue Stream and New Blue Stream with 15.7 billion square cubic meters capacity.

Putin ratified the deal earlier this month, and Turkish Parliament gave the okay back in December. Gazprom expects to begin construction by the end of 2017, and hopes to finish the pipeline in two years.

This is the ultimate victory lap for Moscow. Not only does Turkish Stream mean that Moscow can now circumvent European energy-related shenanigans, it also signals that Washington's plans for Syria have gone up in flames:

If the Turkish Stream pipeline will ultimately be constructed, its launch will substantially mitigate transit risks for Russian gas via the territory of its neighbors, although it will not fully solve the problem of gas transit through Ukraine, according to Russia’s Deputy Energy Minister Yuri Sentyurin. Nevertheless, it will give additional leverage to Moscow over Ukraine and Europe.


It is important to remember the plans of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to build their own gas pipeline through Syria to the Mediterranean coast in order to increase their gas deliveries to Europe in a more cost-effective way. Although now those plans are growing dim, those ambitions still pose a certain threat to Russia’s interests. Partly because of that, both Qatar and Saudi Arabia finance various radical groups in Syria, as they do not want to see the Syrian state in its pre-civil war form under Assad’s rule.

So much blood and treasure — all for nothing. You almost feel bad for the Saudis. Almost.

Of course, the conflict in Syria is far from over, and the fate of the Kurds, especially, is very much an open question. We're sure there has been some interesting negotiations between Moscow, Ankara and Washington on this matter. And Damascus probably won't like the outcome.

But let's be very clear, here: Russia is building a gas pipeline with a NATO member that will bypass Europe and essentially signal the end to major proxy war between Turkey and Syria.

We would like to reiterate that Washington ordered Turkey to shoot down a Russian jet in an attempt to destroy relations between Ankara and Moscow — and it still didn't work.


It doesn't get much better than this.







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