Views:2468
gasprom-bulgargaz

  Bulgartransgaz has been noticeably absent from the public debate around the fate of South Stream-turned-TurkStream-turned-Balkan Stream, a project than can be summed up with the lone common denominator, ‘Borissov’ Stream.   Consider the arguments. We are told that the TSO, Bulgartransgaz, is facing an existential threat – bound to lose money as Gazexport dries up transit via Ukraine and consequently via Bulgaria. That is a valid argument insofar as there is no alternative or plan B, and the threat is imminent, credible and verifiable – i.e. gas transit cancellation via Ukraine is a given. Yet both hypotheses are speculative in varying degrees.   Since January 21, 2019, Gazprom and Naftogaz have been negotiating, with the help of the European Commission, a new ten-year gas transit contract through Ukraine. The

Views:3140
sov voinitzi

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Views:2928
Vladimir Putin and Vladislav Surkov / photo: obozrevatel.com

  Vladislav Surkov has enlightened us on the state of mind at the Kremlin. He has been on and off at the top of Putin’s confidants’ list, yet his current status is nowhere near the peak of his influence, some 15 years ago, when he was perceived as the guru in Putin’s entourage, akin to Mikhail Suslov in the Politburo of the Soviet Communist Party. Those days are long gone, and the article published in Nezavisimaya Gazetta, although carrying some weight and deserving attention, does not go far enough to challenge the perception of a falling star.   The title, The Deep State of Putin (Dolgoe Gosudarstvo Putina), would certainly prompt analytical work in the Russian and Western media, much like in the old days of the Soviet Union, when

Views:3376
gaz

  For the first time in more than 15 years, Ukrainian gas has been exported to the EU. On January 30 this year, a small private company, TAS Energia Krainy, managed to sell gas to Slovakia. Volumes are indicative of a test mode, but the fact of the transfer is of great importance.   First, the story is clear proof that Ukraine has successfully resolved domestic gas challenges, due to growth in indigenous gas production and diversified imports, enough to ensure a strong liquidity base for market liberalization and export potential.   Second, the transaction happened in high winter season, which suggests self-confidence and mature levels in capacity and the supply market. The cross-border sale is not referenced to the more common long-term, but to short trade that can track

Views:3075
WB Summit 1

  The ratification of the Macedonia name deal between Athens and Skopje on Friday capped a year in which the West renewed its focus on integrating the Western Balkans into the Euro-Atlantic community.   Bulgaria factored into the renewed push to integrate the region into NATO and the EU because Sofia made Western Balkan integration a focal point of its European Council presidency that spanned the first half of 2018. Sofia capped its EU presidency by hosting the EU-Western Balkans summit last May. The summit was a high-level gathering of EU and Western Balkan leaders, the first of its kind in 15 years.   Now that 2018 is complete and the Macedonia name dispute has been settled, one can have a clearer look at the fruits of Bulgaria’s push to

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Pipeline

  The cuts to transit tariffs for use of the Ukrainian gas transmission network, which were announced during the final days of 2018, are a major event that was undeservedly kept out of the media spotlight.   The reductions of nearly 50% are simply a downward correction but send a message.   Here are some corners in the analysis.   The first suspected casualty would be the revenue projections for the Ukraine circumvention projects. Their business logic has been substantially compromised, while the key argument Merkel and Putin continue to use is that the Nord Stream is “just business.” The direct costs of Nord Stream-2 so far are below $10 billion and, accounting for the extra funds spent on gas fields and infrastructure development on Russian territory, the bill skyrockets

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lng_vessel

The article first published in instituteforenergyresearch.org on 12/14/2018.   On Oct. 17, 2018, Poland’s largest energy company PGNiG signed a contract with two American LNG companies to deliver up to 1 million tons of gas each over the next 20 years. It is the first large U.S. LNG contract in Eastern Europe, and it won’t be the last. Indeed, it is very likely that American LNG companies will become major suppliers to Eastern Europe in the near future.   There are a number of reasons for this, both politically and economically. It is, of course, well-known that oil and gas exports, and particularly the latter, have long been used by Russian rulers as political weapons to achieve specific policy objectives—more often than not directed against Western interests. So none of this

Views:7381
Aleksandr-Solzhenitsyn

The article first published in americanthinker.com on 12/11/2018.     The 100th anniversary of possibly the greatest writer of the tortured 20th century has predictably and justly given rise to numerous encomiums such as this one from one of the great man’s best interpreters. There is no doubt that Solzhenitsyn, if not St. John, to whom he has been compared, in his epochal struggle with communist totalitarianism, at the very least drove a key nail in the coffin of communist inhumanity. What he did without any doubt was to open the eyes of the West to the reality of the murderous Stalinist regime in the Soviet Union, but also in Eastern Europe, China and wherever communism had triumphed. And expose it he did in all of its genocidal fury, the Left’s unwillingness

Views:7985
konflikt_azov_

  We live in a world of post-truth. Everyone has his own “facts,” his own truth. After the annexation of Crimea, Russia annexed the ‘truth’ for the Russian public and proxies around the world. Adding the Crimean Peninsula meant new borders, new territorial waters and new conflicts. Closing the Kerch Strait by building the bridge connecting continental Russia with its new territory meant that large ships are disallowed, effectively imposing illegal control of traffic, blocking access to and from the Ukrainian coast of the Sea of Azov, including the towns of Mariupol and Berdyansk. The EU and U.S. are looking closely and pondering how to respond – from a safe distance, as usual. They will not interfere – except with sedative lecturing.   Chancellor Merkel cherishes Nord Stream-2 more than Ukraine as a shield of

Views:6170
kornelia_ninova

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