BERLUSCONI'S MOST IMPORTANT FLIRT (Il flirt più importante di Berlusconi)

Silvio Berlusconi and Vladimir Putin, meeting in St Petersburg, have given new impetus to the race to supply gas to Europe. The Italian prime minister is joining his Russian counterpart in pushing the South Stream project over another pipeline backed by the EU. The announcement followed discussions by video phone with Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

South Stream, said Putin, had to be constructed quicker than North Stream, a third pipeline that will run under the Baltic Sea and then pass through Scandinavia. The Russian premier said it was possible because the three countries already had experience working together on another building project on Turkish soil, the Blue Stream construction.

South Stream is a joint project involving Russia’s Gazprom and Italy’s ENI. After running under the Black Sea, two possible routes are being studied to supply gas to western Europe.
The agreement was sealed back in August during a one-day visit by Vladimir Putin to Ankara. The Turkish prime minister said he saw South Stream as a parallel rather than a rival project to the EU-backed Nabucco pipeline – as both would be needed in the future.


The three leaders had a comprehensive talk concerning the South Stream pipeline project, which is to be constructed jointly by Russia’s Gazprom and Italy’s Eni. Putin remarked that issues with Turkey had been resolved, referring to the announcement earlier this week of Turkey’s decision to allow geological exploration in its Black Sea economic zone as part of the South Stream project.

Berlusconi, who is currently in Russia, mentioned on Wednesday the cooperation between Turkey and Italy in the field of technology and the helicopter manufacturing plant that is being established in Turkey through an equal partnership between Italy’s Agusta and a Turkish company. Italy is ready to establish similar partnerships with Russia, too, he added. Berlusconi had also attended talks during Putin’s visit to Ankara on Aug. 6.

PM Erdoğan held a teleconference with Russian and Italian prime ministers on energy issues.
Earlier this week, Turkey, Russia and Italy signed a memorandum of understanding on the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline in Milan. The project will be carried out by the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline Company (TAPCO) in which Italian energy company Eni and Turkish company Çalık Energy each hold a 50 percent stake.

The South Stream project is set to eventually run from Russia to Bulgaria under the Black Sea before delivering gas to consumers in Europe. The pipeline, with an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters, is planned to be operational in 2016, costing $11.6 billion.



Construction of 'Eskene-Kuryk' pipeline will be financed by French side on debt basis. Following the results of negotiations N. Nazarbayev and N. Sarkozy have signed a number of documents in oil-gas, space, military and atomic spheres today in Akorda.

"We agreed that the French side will take part in construction project of the export-oil-trunk pipeline. It is an extremely important project which is one of the principal artery of the transport system of the Kazakhstan's oil to Europe", - N. Nazarbayev said at the press-conference following the results of negotiations with N. Sarkozy.

Among signed documents are Memorandum on mutual understanding between Kazmunaigaz and SPIKAPAG Company on 'Eskene-Kuryk' pipeline. The document was signed by Chairman of Kazmunaigaz Kairgeldy Kabyldin and President of "Antrepoz Contracting" Dominic Bouvie.

As is known 'Eskene-Kuryk' is oriented firstly at Kashagan deposit.

According to Kazakh Minister of Energy and Mineral Recourses Sauat Mynbayev the amount of financing will be known after preparation of the project. "At the moment the limit amounted to USD 2.5 bln", - the Minister said. He also informed that 'Eskene-Kuryk' pipeline will be Kazakhstan's property.

President of France Nicolas Sarkozy has arrived with official visit to Kazakhstan on Tuesday. During his official visit N. Sarkozy met with the President of Kazakhstan in his residence. The President of France has acquainted with the master plan of the capital in the Palace of Independence.


France and Kazakhstan have signed energy and business deals worth $6bn (£3.8bn) during a visit to Astana by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Kazakhstan has large oil and gas fields and is Central Asia’s largest economy.

Among several accords signed between the two countries, Kazakstan’s Kazmunaigaz and France’s SPIE CAPAG (Entrepose Contracting) singed a draft agreement running from Eskene, onshore near Tengiz, to the port of Kuryk, near Aqtau.

This pipeline is part of the Caspian Transportation System. This pipeline will carry oil to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, turning it into the Aqtau-Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, going to the Turkish Mediterranean coast.