Turkic Energy Diplomacy

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A Closer Look at the Ongoing Role of OTS in Europe’s Post-Crisis Energy Landscape

After the 2022 Russia-Ukraine conflict, Western countries unquestioningly backed Ukraine, imposing sanctions on Russia. In response, Russia retaliated with economic sanctions on the EU, notably targeting the energy sector. In response, the EU desired new energy sources like importing LPG from North African countries or reactivating nuclear plants. Meanwhile, the Organization of Turkic States is offering a new option for the EU.

The Organization of Turkic States was established in 2009 as an intergovernmental association, to promote cooperation among Turkic States. This organization’s role became much more important in 2023 not just for participant countries but also for other countries in the world. 

The gas-rich Turkic Central Asia could feed the energy-hungry world. Turkmenistan has a significant role in this process because in Turkmenistan’s southeastern Mary province lies the world’s second-largest gas field, known as Galkynysh. Roles are also falling apart for Turkey and Azerbaijan because the main goal is to transport Central Asian gas to Europe through the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.

Recently a trilateral meeting took place between Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan leaders. The leaders discussed a potential energy corridor between Central Asia and Europe. Chairman of the People’s Council of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, suggested the creation of a roadmap to facilitate the development of cooperation in the energy sector among the member countries in his speech after the last meeting of the Organization of Turkic States in Astana.

Finally, Hungary’s position is also significant. Since 2018, Hungary has been an observer participant of OTS, the only EU member country in OTS. The third meeting of OTS Energy Ministers took place in Budapest. One of the most notable topics was a renewable energy transmission corridor from Azerbaijan through Georgia, Romania to Hungary. Given this, in the future, Hungary could potentially serve as a distributor of Turkic energy in Europe.

Sources

Sofuoglu, Murat. “How the Turkic World Can Become a Global Alternative Energy Source.” TRT World – Breaking News, Live Coverage, Opinions and Videos, December 19, 2022. https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/how-the-turkic-world-can-become-a-global-alternative-energy-source-63684.

Lmahamad, Ayya. “Azerbaijan’s Investments in OTS Member States Amount $21.3bn .” Azernews.Az, September 29, 2022. https://www.azernews.az/business/200084.html.

“The 3rd Meeting of OTS Ministers in Charge of Energy Convened in Budapest: News.” Türk Devletleri Teşkilatı, March 31, 2023. https://www.turkicstates.org/en/haberler/the-3rd-meeting-of-ots-ministers-in-charge-of-energy-convened-in-budapest_2866.

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