The Russian government can do little to undermine the competitiveness of alternative supplies along the Southern Gas Corridor. Moreover, the suppliers’ list is rapidly expanding with new gas fields in the Azeri offshore of the Caspian (Absheron and Shah Deniz 3), Turkmenistan (swaps already under way via Iran with Azerbaijan), Iran, Northern Iraq and the Eastern Mediterranean. All this clearly alludes to the feasibility of alternative gas exports via Greece and Bulgaria to the rest of the EU. Gazprom’s nightmares are just starting to mature as soaring production and transportation costs within Russia do not leave much room for further cost-cutting. Militarizing the Caspian Sea To block the development and export of Caspian gas, including via the Trans-Caspian pipeline, Moscow decided to relocate its flotilla from Astrakhan
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– What is fundamentally new with the new round of US sanctions – scope or impact? How far are secondary sanctions likely to reach given the less than warm welcome for US sanctions in parts of the EU? – Politically and psychologically the most fundamental is Section 242 – personal sanctions against top Russian political/business figures. As for secondary sanctions European companies will be bound to take them into account, otherwise they will be automatically punished financially by losing their contracts. – We understand apart from Russian companies and individuals, there are Ukrainian and Polish companies? How likely is that more CEE partners of Russian companies could join the list notably if they continue business as usual with Russian state companies? What will be the effect on Nord
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 11/25/2017. The failure of German chancellor, Angela Merkel, to form a coalition government in her fourth term of office has, for the first time, given rise to speculations as to her possible demise as the long-time and seemingly indispensable fixture of German and European politics. Such is the respect bordering on veneration, of ‘Mutti’ Merkel in the European mainstream press, that few bother to look critically at her policies and accept without question her assurances that she “will make sure that her country continues to be well governed.” Yet, there is by now overwhelming evidence that her policies have neither been very successful, nor marked with a great deal of “democracy, freedom, respect for the rule of law and human dignity,” as she
The views expressed in this article are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Bulgaria or the Bulgarian Government. Hybrid war is not declared. It is being fought, instead. This is the essence of the strategy of today’s actors, be they state or non-state, in their aggressive hybrid warfare campaigns. The countries under attack are quite often unable to understand what is really happening on the ground until it might be too late. Since the end of the Cold War Russia has been pursuing an intended and calculated policy of keeping enough influence in Bulgaria to have control over national decisions. It has achieved this objective primarily through economic tools as
The System Spill over By proximity, Bulgaria mirrors Russian autocratic tendencies, including mimicking the state oligarchy model. Unlike Russia, however, the Bulgarian version can’t be sustained on “natural” resources – oil, gas, nuclear fuel-based wealth. Redistribution can be effectuated on added value and GDP growth, or thereafter on the budget accumulated taxed economic output. Bulgaria’s autocracy has limited margins for self-propelled growth and wealth sharing, which implies greater reliance on grand corruption mechanisms. The Kremlin’s GDP sustains its dynamics even on holidays as the oil and gas industry turns round the clock. Bulgarian GDP, however, must be generated and incomes earned. In Russia, the population exhibits extreme patience, willing to accept sacrifice in the name of “stability” (note the overlay in the jargon of the ruling
He, who speaks of Russia as a threat to Bulgaria is a complete idiot Alexander Dugin Relations between Bulgaria and Russia go beyond the format of standard bilateral relations. The Kremlin rarely relies on the services of its embassy in Sofia or its diplomacy in order to realize its plans, as it has at its disposal sufficient local alternatives in Bulgarian proxies – parties, organizations and politicians. As Russian opposition politician, Boris Nemtsov’s partner and Alexei Navalny’s adviser, Vladimir Milov, said: “Putin wants to colonize you and your elite helps him.” Succinct and clear. A detailed debate on the “Russian threat”, which appeared as a standard text in a report by the Bulgarian secret services, never happened. “The Sound Forces”, including the defense minister (!?), promised