Daily Life In Istanbul

US Vice President Joe Biden recently addressed the Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit in Istanbul, Turkey where he discussed numerous topics related to European energy security. Biden began his talk with the situation in Ukraine and Russia’s use of energy as a political tool. He recognized the fact that Russia will remain a major European energy supplier for the foreseeable future, but argued that European countries need to diversify their energy suppliers and supply routes. This is where Turkey plays a critical role as a transit state and regional trading hub.

“But here in Europe, energy is — energy security is an especially vital regional security interest because of Russia’s track record in using the supply of energy as a foreign policy weapon against its neighbors in violation of basic commercial and international norms,” Biden said.

Increasing Europe’s pool of energy suppliers will require bringing more oil and gas from the Caspian region, Iraq and possibly the Eastern Mediterranean.

“With U.S. support, Turkish leadership, Azeri leadership, this ambitious project is traversing Azerbaijan through Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and Italy — will bring gas for the first time from the Caspian to Europe, a game changer for energy security in Europe,” the vice president said with regard to the Southern Corridor natural gas project.

“That’s why I was encouraged to see the recent interim agreement between Baghdad and Erbil on managing exports and revenue sharing.  And we continue to support the development of a strategic pipeline from Basra to Jehan.  As the regional global energy picture evolves, Turkey’s strategic location is a major, major asset.” – US Vice President Biden