Former Armenian PM: "Turkey may become an oil and gas mediator"
Turkey could play a significant role in mediating between energy dependent Europe and oil- and gas-rich Russia and Iran, according to Armen Sarkissian, a former Armenian prime minister and energy professional. "Without Russia and Iran, Caspian oil and gas could not be transferred to Europe," Sarkissian told Hurriyet Daily News over the weekend. Sarkissian, currently head of Eurasia House, a London-based institution involved in research and policy development on Russian oil and gas, said, "Conditions have changed rapidly in the Caspian region, including Turkey, after the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline was stretched from Azerbaijan to Turkey." He was speaking on the sidelines of the Global Energy Outlook conference organized by the Istanbul International Energy and Climate Center at Istanbul's Sabanci University. "Turkey is the only country that could bring Iran and Russia together again to open negotiations for energy security in the region," he said. Stressing Turkey's close ties with Russia, the former Armenian premier said broken trust resulting in supply disruptions in many European nations, with complete cutoffs of gas supplies transported through Ukraine from Russia in 2009, "could be restored by Turkey."