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The Potential Impact of New US Sanctions Law on Pipeline Projects Connecting Europe and Eurasia


While expressing some “concerns,” United States President Donald Trump signed the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,” on August 2 (Whitehouse.gov, August 2)—legislation that was overwhelmingly approved by the US House of Representatives late last month. Continue reading

Strategic Partnership Agreement: A New Chapter in EU-Azerbaijan Relations


Ilham-Aliyev-and-Federica-Mogherini-Brussels-February-6-EDM-June-22-2017-640x360On June 13–14, the European Union and Azerbaijan held another round of talks on the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). Those ongoing discussions were first inaugurated on February 6, with the official visit of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to Brussels. Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) stated that both sides hope to finalize the draft agreement by the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit Continue reading

The Southern Gas Corridor: Heading into the Home Stretch?


Trans-Adriatic-Pipeline-Selected-for-Shah-Deniz-Gas-TransportSecurity of gas supply is a priority for the European Union (EU) because it is critical to ensure that (1) supplies are not disrupted; (2) market can be competitive and (3) the EU cannot be blackmailed in foreign and security policy questions. Continue reading

Propaganda Against Trans-Adriatic Pipeline Continues Under ‘Environmental Concerns’


TAP-protests.jpgOn April 6, Italy’s Lazio Regional Administrative Court (LRAC) suspended the environmental impact permit for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which would have allowed for the relocation of olive trees that obstruct the planned path of the pipeline in the Puglia region town of Melendugno (Italianinsider.it, April 7). Continue reading

Armenia’s Doubts on Russia Ties Prompt Pro-EU Maneuvering


Serzh-Sargsyan-785x487.jpgOn February 28, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan speaking at Carnegie Europe, a Brussels-based think-tank dubbed Armenian people ‘European‘ due their spiritual-cultural heritage and way of life, and stressed the importance of ‘shared values’ in the new EU-Armenia agreement. The speech came a day after the European Union and Armenia agreed on the “Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement” (CEPA) Continue reading

Russian Gas in the Southern Gas Corridor Could Undermine the EU’s Diversification Plans


TASS_1039167_468Gazprom has officially declared its willingness to use the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as a route to deliver gas to Europe. TAP is an integral part of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) which is one of the priority energy projects for the EU to ensure the continent’s security of supply from a non-Russian source. Continue reading

Brussels Rolls out the Red Carpet for Azerbaijan


1543192740513In February, the European Union rolled out the red carpet for the official visit of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev for the inauguration of the new EU-Azerbaijan “Strategic Partnership Agreement.” During the visit, President Aliyev called the new agreement a “new chapter” in Azerbaijan-EU relations Continue reading

Suspension of Azerbaijan’s EITI Membership: Repercussions for the Southern Gas Corridor


EITIThe International Board of Directors (BoD) of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) suspended Azerbaijan’s membership in the coalition. The decision came during the BOD’s 36th meeting (on March 8­–9), in Colombia. The EITI promotes the open and accountable management of oil, natural gas and mineral resources with the involvement of governments, companies and civil society organizations Continue reading

Southern Gas Corridor Seeks Financial Backing Amidst Volatile Oil Prices


During the third ministerial meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) Advisory Council, held in Baku, on February 23, the European Commission’s vice president for the Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič, encouraged international financial institutions to bankroll the SGC project (Trend, February 23). Continue reading

Injecting Russian Gas Into TAP: Downgrading Importance of Southern Gas Corridor


1l-Tap route.jpgFor the first time ever, Gazprom officially expressed interest in using the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to deliver Russian gas to Europe (Trend, January 24). During the European Gas Conference in Vienna, on January 24, Gazprom deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said that Russia’s upstream capacity is sufficient Continue reading

Perspective for Turkish Stream Project: Possible Scenarios and Challenges



Following the cancellation of South Stream, Russia announced its plans to reroute the pipeline to Turkey, instead of Bulgaria. The new pipeline was dubbed “Turkish Stream”, with same capacity of South Stream, but less vulnerable to EU competition law. “Turkish Stream” has also experienced delays due to the crisis in Russia-Turkey relations. However, following the recent normalization of bilateral relations, the project regained its momentum. Continue reading

TAP’s Fate after the Italian Referendum


Italian PM Renzi leads a news conference to mark 1000 days in the government, in RomeOn December 4, a referendum in Italy rejected the sweeping constitutional reforms proposed by the government, ultimately resulting in the resignation of Matteo Renzi from the prime minister’s post. One of the main proposed constitutional changes was the division of competences between the state and the regions on defining which governing body will retain the legislative power on “land-use planning” and “transport and distribution of energy.” Continue reading

Perspectives for Israeli Gas in Southern Gas Corridor Hampered by Economic Limitations


leviathan-gas-fieldIsraeli Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Dan Stav, announced, on November 6, that his country was “considering the possibility to transport its natural gas to Europe via the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline [TANAP] through Turkey.” Earlier, on October 14, Turkish presidential advisor Cemil Ertem declared that Turkey wants to connect Israel’s gas supplies to the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) —an energy transit corridor from Azerbaijan to Europe, of which TANAP is a key link Continue reading

SOCAR’s Complicated DESFA Deal Faces New Setbacks


0f975eb049Rovnag Abdullayev, the head of Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR), told reporters on September 5 that his company is waiting for an explanation from the Greek government for its violation of the originally agreed-upon privatization terms for Greece’s Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA) (Azernews.az, September 6). Continue reading

Azerbaijan: Europeanisation Versus Real-Politics


13653101_1106232216131915_5752547286193939555_oSince gaining its independence, Azerbaijan’s foreign policy is oscillating between security priorities and normative transformation. Following the dissolution of the USSR, newlyindependent Azerbaijan opened a new dimension of its foreign policy in the direction of the West. The successful realisation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, as well as the whole East-West energy corridor paved the way for the economic integration of Azerbaijan into Europe. Continue reading

Turkey-Russia Rapprochement and Prospects for ‘Turkish Stream’


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Credit: novinite.com

On June 27, Russian President Vladimir Putin received a letter from President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, expressing Turkey’s willingness to restore ties with Russia (Kremlin.ru, June 27). Immediately, Gazprom spokesperson Sergey Kupriyanov announced his company’s openness to dialogue with Ankara on the construction of the “Turkish Stream” natural gas pipeline Continue reading

Southern Gas Corridor Gains New Momentum


Work on the Southern Gas Corridor’s (SGC) implementation intensified to an unprecedented degree in recent months. On March 17 and May 17, the groundbreaking ceremonies of two key constituent parts of the Southern Corridor—the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)—were held, respectively, in Turkey and Greece. Continue reading

Georgia’s Endeavours for Alternative Gas Supply: Implications for the regional Energy Map


1242During 1996-2003, Russian ITERA was a main gas supplier for Georgia and owner of its natural gas distribution companies. As of 2002, Eduard Shevardnadze’s administration sought to alienate ITERA from Georgia’s gas sector. In 2002, Russian Gazprom took over the natural gas sector from ITERA and the control over the main gas pipelines. Continue reading

Iranian gas in Georgia. A feasible option?


13_GeorgiaOver the past few months, the Chief of Russia’s Gazprom, Aleksei Miller, and Georgia’s Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze have been negotiating an energy deal between the two countries. The main issues on Georgia’s agenda have been its diversification plans and increasing energy consumption. Meanwhile, Georgia has not yet ruled out importing gas from Iran. Continue reading

Four-Day Karabakh War Highlights Threats to Energy Security on NATO’s Southeastern Flank


The periodic escalation of violence in and around the separatist Azerbaijani territory of Karabakh routinely raises concerns about this conflict’s threat to regional energy security and pipeline infrastructure. However, few commentaries analyze this issue’s broader geopolitical implications in any detail. Continue reading

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