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Turkish Stream to help Balkans' EU membership

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Balkan countries may gain EU membership with Turkish Stream project, expert says.

The Turkish Stream natural gas project is an incentive for Balkan countries to become a member of the EU, according to Professor Gurkan Kumbaroglu, president-elect of the International Association for Energy Economics on Tuesday.

Speaking at a conference in Berlin, Kumbaroglu cited the Balkan countries – Albania, Bosna-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia as possible partners for the project, noting that these countries are not currently members of the European Union.

“I believe that the Balkan countries will become members of the EU with the Turkish Stream project,” Kumbaroglu said.

“Natural gas demand in these countries will increase faster than member countries,” he added.

The Turkish Stream project is intended to replace the previously planned South Stream pipeline, which was to carry natural gas to Europe via the Balkans.

The route of the pipeline should include the Balkan region countries, and Turkey should play an active role in this process, he commented.

According to Kumbaroglu, Turkey will ensure the energy security of Europe with the Turkish Stream project which plans to have a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.

He added that an energy union, which will bring producer and consumer countries together, may help to solve the energy problems in Eurasia with the EU’s over dependence on Russian gas.

Resource: Anadolu Agency, April 15, 2015

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