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map-nord-stream_1

  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

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GAZ 1

  Once Russian gas is dried out in the Ukrainian gas transportation system the country is in trouble. Bulgaria and Poland may come to help, rather than Germany and Brussels.     No one is guilty that on December 31, 2019 the current transit contract between Naftogaz of Ukraine and Gazprom of Russia ends. As the same time two highly controversial bypassing projects will soon become operational – North Stream-2 and Turkish Stream. That will end an era of the decades long Ukrainian gas transportation business of approximately 90 bcm per year from Russia to Europe and Turkey. Taking into account the hurdles the notorious North Stream-2 is facing the physical transit may not end completely but commencing on January 1, 2020 there will be no more long-term commitments on

This entry was posted in Bulgaria, Europe, The Region and tagged , , , , by Sergiy Korsunsky.

About Sergiy Korsunsky

Director of the Hennadii Udovenko Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine since October 2017. Dr. Sergiy Korsunsky served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Turkey in 2008-2016. Prior to that for three years he served as Director-General of the Economic Department, Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Minister-Counselor and Acting Ambassador at the Embassy of Ukraine in the USA fin 2000-2005. Ambassador Korsunsky has extensive professional experience in strategic planning and development, including energy, trade and investment policy, regional security. He is a well known expert on geopolitics of energy. Dr. Korsunsky authored more than 200 publications, including 10 books. In 2008 he was awarded by the President of Ukraine for his economic achievements.
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gaz1

  As alluded to in previous analyses, there is a very diverse and intriguing picture behind the official results of the tender for engineering, procurement and construction of the Bulgarian section of Turkish Stream. A deeper look into the  tender procedures would offer ample ground to reason that so far it has defied European standards for project development and management, being closer to the model Gazprom uses along the entire South Stream chain of projects from Anapa on the Russian Black Sea to the Baumgarten Hub.   The original idea of engaging a Saudi company rests on the premise that, as a strategic ally of the United States, a company from the Saudi Kingdom could potentially “shield” Gazprom’s operation from Western and US sanctions.   One can hardly anticipate that

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russia europa

  My favorite Russian diplomat is Ambassador Chizhov. He tops my rankings as the most outspoken Russian diplomat on a range of hot topics in EU-Russia relations. He is entrusted by the Kremlin to challenge the EU on its home turf each and every time the European Council, the European Commission or the European Parliament passes a motion that affects Moscow’s interests. One clear mark of President Putin’s personal trust in him is the fact that Vladimir Chizhov is spending his record 14th year in office as Russia’s Permanent Representative to the European Union.   He did not waste time in reassuring Russians and Russia’s friends and partners that the amendments to the EU Gas Directive passed by the European Parliament on April 4th, amending key regulations for gas pipelines

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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

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1

Sorry, this entry is only available in Bulgarian.

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merkel_trump

  The news that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has bent under Trump’s pressure, deciding to spend government funds on the construction of the first German terminal for the import of liquefied natural gas, has traversed the newswire of most international news agencies.   Interpretations of Merkel’s move have framed it as an attempt to avoid Washington’s sanctions against Nord Stream-2.   Geostrategic bargains are part of Merkel’s move, but possibly not the core truth behind it.   The fact of the matter is that it is odd for the largest EU economy and largest gas consumer in the EU not to have access via import terminals to the global LNG market. In the face of growing dependence on Russian pipeline gas, this self-imposed restraint can hardly constitute a sensible policy.

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donald-trump

  ‘Fort Trump’ said the Polish president Andrzej Duda, during a White House press conference last week, would be an appropriate name to call the first American military base in Poland. Whether this Polish dream comes to pass or not is yet to be seen, but the strategic rationale behind it is anything but the joke US pundits took it to be.  It is, in fact, an incapsulation of the dilemma facing Eastern Europe and with it, NATO and the United States.   For barely concealed behind it is a multitude of challenges that must be addressed without delay if a serious crisis in Europe and the alliance is to be avoided. At the bottom of it is the seemingly unavoidable conflict over Muslim immigration. Virtually all of Eastern Europe