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Turkish expert says creation of gas hub questionable without change of EU’s leadership

Necdet Pamir believes that "the political consciousness in Europe should change, with leaders starting to think about the interests of their own countries"

ANKARA, September 6. /TASS/. The anti-Russia sentiment in the European leadership and the peculiarities of Turkey’s legislative framework may seriously complicate the implementation of the gas hub project initiated by Russia, Turkey’s leading energy expert and former executive at the country’s oil state company TPAO Necdet Pamir told TASS.

"The discussion around the gas hub project has revived again. However, this project is currently positioned as a major platform for selling Russian gas to Europe. And in this respect there are two issues influencing the future of the hub. Gas exports via Turkey or directly from Russia will remain questionable unless the leadership in Europe, in Germany, France, the EU that currently acts in accordance with the US’ interests, changes. And the question with the legal basis persists," he explained. For such a project as a gas hub being discussed by Ankara and Moscow to be a success, "the political consciousness in Europe should change, with leaders starting to think about the interests of their own countries," the expert noted.

The Russian president Vladimir Putin’s proposal to build a gas hub appeals to the Turkish leadership and increases the country’s importance, he said, adding though that "as long as the position of European leaders is to hinder Russia the gas hub project can hardly be expected to succeed."

"The second complicated aspect is the legislative base of Turkey’s energy market. It does not provide suppliers, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, with convenient possibilities to handle matters in the context of the hub on the principles of a free market and free price formation. It is necessary to change the legal base, which is unlikely to be done quickly. So the project is nice rhetorically, but it is laden with major difficulties," Pamir concluded.

In October 2022, Putin proposed establishing such a hub in Turkey to where the lost gas transit flows through the Nord Stream pipeline could be redirected. Turkey has said that almost everything is ready to start the project in terms of infrastructure, but that legislative amendments are needed. The republic’s parliament made the first decisions on the operations of Turkish oil and gas producer Botas and a number of other suppliers in early April.