There is little doubt that as president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych will decisively shift the country's geopolitical posture, with Kiev once again moving closer to Moscow after its pro-Western and pro-EU turn of 2005. The potential consequences on the EU's energy future are serious, as 80 percent of Russian natural gas exports to Europe transit through Ukrainian territory. The country has been in repeated price disputes with the Russian state-owned gas monopoly, Gazprom, resulting in interruptions of deliveries to the Ukrainian market in January 2006 and 2009, with supplies to Europe affected both times.
Turkey can play a key role in overcoming existing hurdles to the realization of the Nabucco pipeline project, which will augment Europe’s energy security. In return the EU should assist Turkey on its path to EU membership.
White Stream, the proposed gas pipeline from Georgia to Romania on the seabed of the Black Sea, is intended to maximize European gas imports from Central Asia through the E.U.-initiated Southern Corridor. The Corridor grand design spans Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and –with White Stream– also a maritime route to European Union territory via the Black Sea. At its other end, the Southern Corridor is premised on a trans-Caspian link to Turkmenistan for massive European imports of Central Asian gas.
Renowned American expert on Eurasia, an expert on foreign policy, security and international relations and head of Russian-Eurasian programs at the Heritage Foundation, Ariel Cohen, spoke to Day.Az in an interview.