Since the detonation of the Nord Stream pipelines last September (before which the Russians had already warned), the Russian threat of a possible detonation of the Turkish Stream comes up from time to time, as does suspicion of the role of the German army. However, since the integrity of the gas pipeline is really crucial from the point of view of the Hungarian natural gas supply, it is worth paying special attention to the developments.
The argumenti.ru page, the author of the article published on Monday afternoon describes in detail that how the German army, with British and American help, obtained dozens of different maritime drones (Remus-100B and, as the latest development, the Remus-600), which have already been offered to Ukraine, and can already be used around the port of Odessa. According to the author’s assumption, however, not necessarily for their original demining and environmental assessment purpose, but even for something else.
The author also describes the technical parameters and capabilities of the mentioned drones: for example, the Remus-100 can “only” dive to a depth of 100 meters, can be navigated for up to 20 hours, has a range of 60 km, but the newest, and therefore more dangerous for the Turkish Current, the Remus-600 can dive to 600 meters, stay underwater for up to 70 hours and have a range of up to 500 km.
The author also outlines that with the cooperation of different types of weapons and military actions (e.g. air force, missiles, ships) how would it be possible to blow up the two Turkish Stream gas pipelines laid under the Black Sea (e.g. first, the Ukrainians will push out the Russian patrol boats from the western basin of the Black Sea with the help of western technology, in order to make room for maritime drones to access the Turkish Stream pipelines).
Potential explosion of wires as mentioned in the article on the one hand, it could also harm the plans to create the Turkish gas market hub, and on the other hand, Serbia and Hungary, which receive a significant amount of gas from the Turkish Stream.
According to the long-term Hungarian-Russian gas purchase agreement signed in 2021, the Hungarian state-owned MVM buys 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas annually from the Russian Gazprom, of which 3.5 billion cubic meters annually arrives in Hungary from the Turkish Stream, i.e. via Turkey, Bulgaria and Serbia. Since, according to the aggregated data of the last 12 months, the annual Hungarian gas consumption may have fallen to around 8.5 billion cubic meters, so the southern branch of the Russian contract remains of prime importance in the Hungarian gas supply, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said last September: it is the powerhouse of the Hungarian economy.
Western technology sanctions against Russia have not yet jeopardized the planned annual maintenance on the Turkish Stream this June: the Russian compressor station was able to start up properly after the one-week shutdown, even though the American company Baker Hughes no longer supplies the Russians with parts or helps with maintenance neither. For this very reason, and because of what has been seen with the Nord Stream, fears have been on the agenda for the past year that an infrastructural attack or a problem due to technical reasons could also occur on the Turkish Stream, which would lead to a reduction or possible stoppage of gas delivery.
THE Turkish Current also consists of two pipelines, one branch contributes to the supply of Turkish gas needs and is owned by the Turkish state gas and oil company Botas, the other branch helps supply gas to Hungary and Serbia in the southern gas corridor and is owned half and half by Botas and Gazprom .
Cover image source: Burak Kara/Getty Images. The picture was taken at the opening ceremony of the Turkish Stream on January 8, 2020, at which the leaders of the countries participating in the project can be seen.