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Putin's Day gift Romania - annul the South Stream gas pipeline

Jun 22nd 2015 at 11:55 PM

South Stream pipeline in the Black Sea submarine that should unite Russian and Bulgarian coast, later to deliver 65 billion cubic meters of gas annually from Russia directly to the European Union. It is a project of Gazprom, the Russian state and implicitly.

The aim of this project is circumventing Ukraine, which has been blamed for stopping gas deliveries in 2006, 2009 and then decrease volumes delivered to Slovakia, Poland and Hungary in the summer of 2014.

The problem surrounding this project is that inclusive and Romania. In fact, through its completion, Russia can redirect the gas stream avoiding a series of "state - the problem" - the Nord Stream pipeline would bypass Poland, the Baltic States and Belarus, and the South Stream - Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and again a part of Poland. Such power gasify beat Russia would grow exponentially, beating the Kremlin did not hesitate never to use it. Currently the countries mentioned, with the exception of Romania, are dependent on gas imports from Russia in large and very large proportion. Other EU countries have shown little interest in the impact of the Nord Stream and South Stream on these "poor relatives", as long as they ensured cheap sources of energy.

Corporations that OMV and ENI South Stream vigorously defended site, presenting the project as a strengthens Europe's energy security. And South Stream can be called in every way, but not only reliable source of energy. What use to ensure the energy needs of some economies, be they your biggest of the Union, when other economies, more "marginal" and most vulnerable are at the mercy of the Kremlin? It took Russian annexation of Crimea by the European Union to take action against another "club" of Russia -Gazprom and its project - South Stream. And this fight was directed by the skull including Romania. Implementation of the South Stream project would have several negative effects of Romania:

• It decreases the importance of Romania as a transit hub for the Balkans. South Stream would deliver gas directly to Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovakia, and Greece. In this way important Roman pipelines would drop and this would negotiate a lower price for transit of Russian exporters.

• Redirecting the gas flow around Romania would constitute the strong leverage in negotiating gas prices. Gazprom never given evidence of flexibility in negotiating gas prices. The Kremlin is not really a heart on Romania, and will not bother to have relations "constructive" with us when negotiating prices. If Romania will not agree to pay the asking price, Gazprom will close the valve and its other partners will continue to feed through South Stream. Just as it did decoupling of gas Ukraine in 2006, 2009 and 2014.

• In the case of Ukraine-Russia dispute on gas, Romania and Moldova will be collateral damage. In the past 10 years they have been at least 3 acute dispute between Ukraine and Russia on gas, with gas delivery interruption. Currently, when it was down Ukraine have suffered a number of European countries, and Russia lost large amounts of money as a result of failure to deliver gas and penalties.

If South Stream operation, these volumes would be redirected, unfortunately avoiding both Romania and Moldova. In these circumstances Romania should handle internal gas resources, which does not cover all the country's needs. Fortunately Putin recently said the indefinite halt construction of South Stream. The official reason given is the European Union's refusal to give its opinion building.

The real reason is that from the beginning the project was not economically viable South Stream. And now, after oil prices fell by 40% within a year, this project would cause considerable losses and Russia's Gazprom. But considering that this project was from the beginning a political one, and still very potent, this should not have to discourage Russians.

Here applied financial sanctions but Russia intervened in the crisis Ukrainian - Russian government simply can not find the cash to finance it. Sochi 2014 cost $ 52 billion, the 2018 Football World Championship will cost about as much, where to find $ 17 billion in May for a strategic energy project? It seems that the Russians have miscalculated steps. This project could be again rsuscitat in the future, but until then the European Union will have time to prepare better to stand up "gas diplomacy" practiced by the Russians. Until then, I wish to Romania mild winter.

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