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Παρασκευή, 12 Δεκεμβρίου 2014
The Tsar Meets the Sultan
Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan — perhaps the least popular Western leaders — met in Ankara on Dec. 1 for the Turkey-Russia High-Level Cooperation Meeting. The two outspoken, know-it-all presidents set aside their major differences on Syria, Ukraine, and Cyprus, and instead sought new ways to deepen the cooperation between Russia and Turkey.
Naturally, Putin chose this moment to declare a gas war with Europe. At a joint press conference with Erdogan, the Russian president said that Moscow will stop pursuing plans to build its a gas pipeline to Europe, the controversial South Stream pipeline, and instead draw up plans for a new link to Turkey. On Monday, as Russia carved the headstone for the South Stream gas pipeline, Moscow and Ankara signed a memorandum of understanding to build a new hub.
Putin blames the shift on resistance from the European Union. “Russian gas will reach other world markets in the form of liquefied natural gas. The EU will not benefit from Russian gas any more,” Putin said at the press conference. “That is their choice.” Putin also said that anyone who needs Russian gas will have to buy it through Turkey.