Vladimar Putin is in a panic, and we all knew this was coming, you could say it was in the pipeline as that is where his panic comes from the proposed gas pipeline that will halt Bulgarians being held to ransom by the Russians. This is not just a Bulgarian vested interest but other European countries also want the Russian monopoly of gas supplies to end. The only country that doesn’t want that to happen is Russia of course and that’s where Putin stands right now.
Putin was holding talks with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan before the two planned to sign an agreement on constructing part of the South Stream pipeline through Turkish waters in the Black Sea. The pipeline would eventually run from Russia to Bulgaria before delivering gas to consumers in the Europe Union.
The deal with Turkey would give Russia a clear path to reach Bulgaria, while avoiding Ukrainian waters. Some South Stream supporters had worried that Ukraine might not allow Russia to route the pipeline through its waters, as many European countries have sough to diminish Russian dominance in energy markets.
Ukraine was also at the center of a January price dispute that led to Russia shutting off gas supplies through Ukraine, affecting European Union countries further to the west.
Investors have proposed an alternative EU-backed Nabucco pipeline to carry Caspian and possibly Central Asian gas through Turkey to Europe.
Putin and Erdogan also planned to sign other energy deals, including on nuclear cooperation. Turkey is considering a bid by Russia's Atomstroiexport to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant.
Hours before Putin's arrival, about 20 Greenpeace members protested the plant plans. Hundreds of riot police stood guard.
Russia also was expected to commit to join the Samsun-Ceyhan project, a crude oil pipeline between the Black Sea city of Samsun and the Mediterranean commercial hub of Ceyhan, both in Turkey.
The pipeline would carry Russian oil and provide an alternative route to the congested Bosporus strait.
Recently, Bulgaria has threatened to back out of a similar project, Burgas-Alexandroupolis.