Russia’s plan was simple from the beginning – two undersea pipelines (The North Stream through the Baltic Sea and the South Stream through the Black Sea) were supposed to eliminate the impact of transitional countries on the supply of gas to Western Europe. Eliminate the impact and – in case of crisis – eliminate the gas supply. The case has been known for years and it was decided in the north. Through the Nord Stream the gas flows to Germany.
In the south it was supposed to be different. It seemed that the European Union had time to react and build its pipeline Nabucco, which obviously would eliminate the reasonableness of the Russian project. Russians would not be able to stop the EU, because how? The money would be found, the receivers too, and the political support was clear. And yet the project is falling apart.
The reason is the lack of the min. 30 billion m3 of gas necessary for the profitability of the project. It was expected that Shah Deniz II, the large gas field in Azerbaijan, which was to be the main source of gas, would provide only 1/3 volume. Other countries, such as Turkmenistan, are not able to fill the lack. Moreover, Azerbaijani tycoon SOCAR suggested a direct line to Turkey. So the project is dying before it was born.
There is another alternative: the establishment of a new consortium of Ukraine-EU-Russia, which would take over the Ukrainian transit routes. But then the iron squeeze of Moscow would remain anyway. It would be maby more subtle but just as effective.Author : Marek Siwiec MEP