News By Country Turkish, Persian, Arab, and Israeli energy lines

Turkish, Persian, Arab, and Israeli energy lines


No sensible and highly intuitive American could be pleased with the victory celebrations in the West when the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s. German Chancellor Willy Brandt, who opposed the Cold War’s regulations, had gradually implemented a doctrine in the 1970s that brought the Soviet Union and Germany closer. Shaken by the artificial oil crisis in 1973, Germany sought ways to diversify its resources for Arab oil, which was fully controlled by the U.S. and the U.K., and the natural gas issue, which would later become pivotal. Hence, it aspired to alleviate Anglo-American pressures.

Once the Soviets collapsed, Russia ended its ideological war with the West and declared its acceptance of Western values. This removed all obstacles hindering economic relations – including energy – between Russia and the EU, with Germany at the center. The Soviet population, which suffered decades of consumption pressures, would attack European products, leading to the expansion of the EU market. That is exactly what happened. Yet, another dependence was forming slowly: Europe was becoming increasingly dependent on Russian oil and, more importantly, on Russian natural gas. This is what deeply disturbed the Anglo-American core. The EU, which was founded on a continental European basis, no longer felt close to the Anglo-American bloc and was inclined to act independently. The TurkStream, Nord Stream 1 and 2 present the crystallization of these ties.

NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe in the 1990s, contrary to the guarantees it gave Europe, was aimed at stopping and ending this trajectory. The Ukraine-Russia war formed the zenith of all tensions. Subsequent sanctions give rise to thoughts about what had severed these ties. It is uncertain for now whether these sanctions will actually serve their purpose. We are hearing reports that Russia is starting to use the Ruble as the means of payment, and European companies are continuing to import energy from Russia through various bypass mechanisms. It is clear that Russia is ensuring surprising revenue increases in energy exports. There is currently no other source that can compete against Russian energy in terms of cost.

The Anglo-American bloc, which drove Russia to war with Ukraine, is currently seeking alternative resources to meet the energy needs of NATO-disciplined Europe. The U.S., on the other hand, is on a quest to sell shale gas to Europe. But according to expert evaluations, this possibility will be quite expensive. The list – though it seemed like a joke at the time – ranges from Senegal to Venezuela, and has now become valuable. However, these are not alternative gas and oil resources. There are four primary lines in question.

The first is the Turkish energy pipeline: a Caspian-origin pipeline that includes Azerbaijan and, most likely, Turkmenistan. Can Kazakhstan be included in this? This signals the pipeline’s potential. There are two main countries that will stand against this line, which Turkey not only supports but is also interested in undertaking the logistics: Russia and Iran. It’s primarily backed by the U.K., which is aspiring to take control over continental Europe through patronage by its own companies. This is supported by Israel, while the EU, primarily Germany, is open to this line. France is an exception – as it is betting on another line. The U.S., meanwhile, is not as interested in this line as much as the U.K. is—there are other lines it has its eye on. Thus, any political instability and military escalations in the Caucasus need to be evaluated independently of this economic situation.

The second is the Arab energy line, which includes Gulf resources. The Saudis, who are not on good terms with the U.S., and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are yet to state for certain that they will be included. Qatar and Kuwait are the main players. The route is currently unknown. It is predicted that Iraq, which is the most critical part of the route, will join by including its own resources. The area, ruled by the Northern Iraq Kurdish Administration, is the most sensitive part of the line, however Iran is strongly against this. The line’s security requires a peripeteia between the central Iraq government and the Northern Iraq administration. Turkey has a military presence in Iraq, too: one side of the Claw Operation involves Turkey’s control. In solidarity with the Northern Iraq Kurdish administration, Turkey wants the stream to continue through its own region. Israel, which has solid relations with Barzani, isn’t perturbed by this line. In fact, it can even be said that it supports it. The U.S., however, wants Barzani to be disabled so that the stream can be carried out with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which will join the SDG/PYD state they seek to establish in Syria. This requires Turkey’s exclusion.

To be continued…

Süleyman Seyfi Öğün
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