It smells of blood and gas in Karabakh
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- There was a smell of gas in the zone of the long-standing interethnic Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) with a length of 878 km and a throughput capacity of 10 billion cubic meters, will be commissioned in November this year and will supply Azerbaijani gas to Greece, Bulgaria and Italy. This is reported by the Strategic Culture Foundation (Russia).
TAP is powered by the South Caucasus pipeline, which was deliberately bypassed by Armenia, through Georgia to the border with Turkey. These two gas pipelines, together with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), constitute the so-called Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) from the Caspian to Europe, bypassing Russia.
Already this year, Turkey has significantly reduced purchases of Russian gas through the Turkish Stream. Considering the failed gas negotiations between Ankara and Moscow in April, in November SGC will make Turkey “the main gas gateway to Europe”.
It is worth looking at the map of the Mediterranean gas pipelines to understand what opportunities Ankara gets to influence European politics by becoming a transit country for Azerbaijani gas. Perhaps that is why Turkey so persistently interferes in the internal affairs of states that compete with "Turkish gas" in Europe - Libya, Syria, Iraq, Cyprus, Greece on its shelf. As the Asia Times believes, “having teamed up with Moscow and its Turkish streams, Ankara was afraid to fall under the US anti-Russian gas sanctions. This raised the shares of Azerbaijan’s Turkish ally in competition with Russia on the European market.”
Not afraid to take risks in foreign policy, R. Erdogan fueled the mood in Baku using a very dangerous card. After all, the war cannot be stopped within the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh alone. The same Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline is 30.1% owned by British Petroleum. There are several more European states in the share. Turkey and Azerbaijan own only 31.5%.
Now Russia, Iran and all Central Asian states that form the energy market are interested in the well-being of the Caucasus region, which has become a "gas tap" for Europe. However, the European allies do not support Ankara’s actions in the Caucasus, because a policy "smelling of gas" is dangerous with a big explosion.