The US and EU sanctions Both the EU and the US are contemplating new sanctions following the Cyprus-drilling conflict and the purchase of the S-400. Erdogan seems defiant on both counts and further sanctions seem equally unavoidable. Turkey’s armed forces have been planning a major offensive in Northern Syria against the US-backed Kurdish Protection Units (YPG), in defiance of US and EU warnings for possible conflict escalation. A sense of urgency has been added to Erdogan’s preparatory works to invade Syria as Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E have responded positively to US calls to send troops to areas held by the YPG. Russia is tacitly encouraging further cracks in relations with the West by allowing Erdogan a certain range of freedom in Syria, against the
Loss of Ukrainian gas transit does increase the risk of military conflict. In October 2013, I came across an anonymous blogger’s note about Russia forming a separate air assault brigade to stop shale gas development in Eastern Ukraine . It was several months before the Ukrainian revolution of 2014 , and I dismissed the news as fake. However, after the start of combat activities in the Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, the note made a lot of sense. Coincidentally or not, the gas supply system of Gazprom was ready for the war in Ukraine. For many years Rostov-on-Don and two more provinces of Southern Russia were receiving gas through Eastern Ukraine. In 2007, Gazprom commissioned a bypassing pipeline enabling “to directly supply gas to Russian
There is little doubt that the hackers attack on the National Revenue Agency’s (NPA) database has been engineered and sponsored by the Russian secret services. In the best of Russian tsarist masquerade traditions, the act will be disguised as a lone effort by a concerned Russian citizen who has taken to heart the destiny of Bulgaria and its society. This is what propaganda and Byzantine politics are all about. The hackers will assume the moral high ground, claiming that the Bulgarian government is corrupt and inadequate. And while much of this rings true, demagoguery lies at the core of the hybrid warfare waged by the Russian special services. The use of credible and tangible weak spots and vulnerabilities in the governance of the country will arouse mistrust and undermine
The takeover of the Military Intelligence Service is just one more episode in the saga of Dogan-Peevsky’s circle attempting to take full control over all essential secret services. The first move in that direction was the creation in 2008 of the State Agency for National Security, abbreviated as SANS. This agency shelters the Military Police and the Military Counter-Intelligence in order to have adequate control over the military, the Financial Intelligence to make sure it did not work against them and their Russian partner capital, including that of the political elite parked in the Gulf States, the Civil Counterintelligence to make sure there are no new cases of exposed Russian agents and consequent expulsions and the Economic Intelligence which monitors attempts by Russian capital to control whole
The German government is continuing to insist that the Nord Stream-2 is pure business, no politics. Having read the feasibility study commissioned by the Nord Stream-2 consortium and executed by Arthur D. Little in 2017, one should not second guess the real motives of both the Russian and the German governments – there is a list of jointly agreed countries that stand to gain and by extension that stand to lose. What is missing in the study is the list of countries that are bound to lose. The consultant has been asked to assess the economic impact of the project – “the activities and investments, related to the Nord Stream-2 project on those countries that are either directly involved in the project, or have contributed with materials or
Last week deputies and members of the Energy Commission voted on the amendments to the Energy Act which launches the Balkan gas exchange, thus pushing the process of liberalization of the gas market. This belated action is due in part to the pressure from the European Commission as Bulgaria remains a blank spot on the EU gas market. The gas exchange and the trading platform are a key element in the overall concept of the Bulgarian gas hub, the crown jewel in the efforts of the Bulgarian government in the gas sphere over the recent years. The liberalization of the gas market is closely related to the existence of a trading platform and the goal of attracting sufficient gas liquidity for distribution through the “hub”. The
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