The two signators called the intergovernmental agreement "historic." Other observers were equally impressed. Mahmut Mucahit Findikli, head of the Turkish parliament's energy committee, told SE Times, "This is not only a very optimal way to meet European gas diversification needs, but also very important for our country as it increases Turkey's role as a transit country." Charles University's Caspian energy expert Jan Sir noted the project "Keeps alive the stategic rationale" for a southern energy corridor to provide Europe with non-Russian gas. "For Azerbaijan, it opens new export opportunities and provides the desired diversification of external relations and stable income...With the opening of the Caspian to the West, Turkey's Caucasus connection would become stronger and Russia would lose much of its influence over the post-Soviet region." World Energy Council's Hilal Pataci issued a warning, however, that the agreement could turn into a "problem in Russia-Turkey relations in the upcoming years."
Pataci's warning has been echoed by Gazprom, the Russian government-owned gas company. In response to a Turkish request for additional Russian gas (because of an explosion halting imports on the Iran-Turkey pipeline), Gazprom graciously agreed and noted the company has been a dependable supplier. It warned, however, that if TANAP were completed in 2018, "Turkey could then apply for help to Baku."
One has to wonder, however, how much impact a mere 10 bcm per year of natural gas will have on Gazprom's European monopoly. The amount represents only about 2% of European gas consumption.