Friday, August 7, 2009

Nabucco + South stream = crazy

Geopolitics don't seem to have changed much since Napoleon's days. Human Rights, environmental- or even budget concerns are easily sidestepped for Strategic interests. Expenses for Obama's wars are not included in the US budget, and I am pretty sure the same thing goes for Putin's Russia.

That Russia and the West have conflicting around the Black Sea was evident in last summer's war in Georgia, a place were tensions are said to build up again.

Putin has recently visited Ankara, to socialize with the Turkish politicians, and gather support for the Russian oil pipeline project South Stream, a fact that teases the anti-Russian Romanian press. Putin transforms the Black sea into a Russian-Turkish lake, Cotidianul writes.

The point of South stream, a brain child of the soulmates Putin and Berlusconi, is to avoid Ukraine and Romania, two countries traditionally hostile to Moscow, and leverage traditional partners like Bulgaria and Serbia. Bulgaria has so far turned a blind eye to the geopolitical implications, and happily agreed to South Stream as well as Nabucco , EU's competing project. The new government might not be as pro-russian as the earlier, though.

Nabucco is EU's grand project to break free from Russian gas. Eventually the pipeline will be filled with gas from democracies like Azerbadjan, Turkmenistan, Egypt, possibly Iran, and why not... Russia.

Putin seems to play this game much more skillful than his collegues in Bruxelles. The Turkish govenrment works hard to keep the excitement for EU after years of waiting to get in. When Iceland passes in the fast line one can:

  1. understand that Ankara loses hope
  2. understand that Ankara needs to put some kind of pressure on Bruxelles, to make something happen.

EU has offered less than nothing to Turkey, not even a respectful "no". Contrary to EU Russia has now offered Turkey gas supplies, hard cash in a peak oil scenario.

But at the end of the day ... in a world where we might be out of oil within ten years, what kind of madness is it to build two competing pipelines so close to each other? Two pipelines that go through lots and lots areas that should be protected. In the best case scenario Nabucco frees the EU from dependence on Russian oil, devastates nature around the Black sea, and entrenches the EU's dependence on oil. And with Putin in power, don't expect the best case scenario.

Pics. taken from Wikipedia Commons . Cred to them.


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