A report in Turkish newspaper Habertürk on December 14 claimed that the Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline could be diverted and pass through Bulgaria instead of Greece. The report, which quoted an unnamed source, said that the route change has already been discussed within Turkey’s energy ministry and Bulgaria has been notified of the change in plans “at the highest level.”
Turkish Stream was announced by Russian president Vladimir Putin during a visit to Ankara in December 2014, at the same time as he cancelled the South Stream gas pipeline – in effect, though, the new undertaking was the same project, but with a re-drawn route, ending in Turkey instead of Bulgaria’s Black Sea shore.
South Stream, meant to carry 63 billion cubic metres of gas a year, had run into opposition from the European Commission, which argued that the pipeline breached the rules of the Third Energy Package regulations, which prevents vendors from directly owning infrastructure and requires that access to infrastructure is given to third parties
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(Image: Gazprom’s initial plan for the Turkish Stream pipeline to the border with Greece.)