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
Growing energy rivalry in the region – a catalyst for development or geopolitical crisis? The first gas exploration of American oil leader -Exxon Mobil in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus, officially announced on Friday (November 16th), has also set a new stage in the energy and political development of the Eastern Mediterranean region. Although far from real results – finding /or not/ of hydrocarbon deposits, the launch of the American company has already managed to restore the usual “hot spot” status of the region, putting an end to the short quiet interval, when in February Turkish warships forced the platform of the Italian company Eni to leave the offshore zone of Cyprus. Exxon Mobil explorations have already changed the dynamics of the geopolitical scene
As Turkey slides closer and closer to the economic precipice, it is worth remembering Erdogan’s promises of resurrecting the Ottoman Empire as the ultimate goal of his rule. By 2023, the hundredth year anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey, Erdogan claimed, would have recaptured the economic power and world-wide reach of the Ottoman Empire in its glory days. Needless to say, this has never been anything but a baseless phantasy, but half of the Turks and many other Muslims believed it to the extent of following Erdogan blindly. It is worth, therefore, revisiting the history of the empire to find out that for most of its existence the Ottoman Empire was a historical anachronism with such glaring systemic weaknesses that it only
On August 28, an event took place in Washington that few media covered at all. To the extent that they did at all, it was to report on Nicky Haley’s speech criticizing the United Nation’s organization (UNRWA) that has kept the Palestinians branded and supported as refugees ever since 1948. The event at the conservative Foundation for the Defense of the Democracies (FDD) main purpose was to give Haley, a star of the Trump Administration, another award, but there was another part of it that was more politically significant. That was awards given to 7 FBI and Department of Justice officials for their work in preventing Turkish government efforts to circumvent Iran sanctions. What was most unusual about the appearance of these officials, who are normally seen in
“We now need to start the construction of this pipeline in the Black Sea, but we cannot do that until we have Bulgaria’s permission”, said Vladimir Putin on December 1, 2014. “I think it’s clear to everyone that it would be ridiculous to start the construction in the sea, reach the Bulgarian shore and stop. So we are forced to reconsider our participation in this project”, continued president of Russia. It is worth noting that uncertainty about the point of entry has not stopped Mr. Putin from launching the construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline. “There are still several questions we need to coordinate: the entry point, the route on Turkish territory and environmental security”, he said to president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the phone from
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 08/14/2018. And so by mid-2018, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has achieved virtually everything he sat out to achieve when he first came to power in 2003. Turkey is now in everything but the name an Islamist dictatorship with Erdogan as the unchallenged leader. Yet, instead of feeling supremely confident, Erdogan and his clique are beset by ineluctable problems and foreboding of disaster down the road. In many ways, this was inevitable and stems from the very nature of the radical transformation of an imperfect democracy into an oppressive tyranny. Disaster for Turkey may not be around the bend, it was thought, but it was inevitable sooner rather than later. The collapse of the Turkish lira last Friday may have signaled that ‘sooner’ is now. To
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The creation of Freemasonry lodges and Supreme Councils in our country is becoming business and politics The Russian hybrid war in Bulgaria has a new important target – the unity of Bulgarian Freemasonry. After breaking this unity, the next step would be their subsequent subordination to Kremlin interests and the resulting domination of Russian Masons in the Balkans. The first considerable breakthrough is already a fact – on May 5th this year a constituent assembly for the installation of a new Second Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite was held in Plovdiv. It elected as Grand Commander a very controversial person – Ivan Sariev, who until a year ago was the Grand Master of the local Masons. Just a few weeks later, on