Russian state-run gas giant Gazprom has cut its investment program in response to the difficulties it faces in the current economic downturn. These cost-saving measures contrasted sharply with Gazprom's pledge last year to become the world's largest company. Such efforts were supported by the Russian government. On July 13, the cabinet approved Gazprom's revised investment program worth 775 billion rubles ($25 billion) or 15.8 percent down from its 920 billion rubles ($29.7 billion) planned earlier. At a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin conceded that Gazprom's January-June 2009 production was 20.8 percent down year-on-year. However, Putin voiced confidence that Gazprom's production and sales will return to their pre-crisis levels eventually.
The USA have no economic interests in the Nabucco gas pipeline project, as well as there was no economic interest in the oil pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan. This was stated by Zeyno Baran, the Director of the Center for Eurasian Policy at the Hudson Institute. According to Zeyno Baran, who is also a wife of the US State Secretary Deputy Assistant Matthew Bryza, Washington has a pure political interest in these projects. “We should assure for the countries of Caucasus and Central Asia, through the territories of which Nabucco pipeline will be laid, have no fear to become dependent of Russia”, - she noted.
Turkmenistan’s pledge to take Azerbaijan to court over the two countries’ rival claims to Caspian Sea oil fields has sparked more confusion than anger in Baku. Some Azerbaijani experts even believe that an international arbitration hearing could prove the best way to resolve a long-standing energy dispute.
Russia has signed an agreement with Turkey to build the South Stream undersea gas pipeline in Turkish waters. The deal comes one month after Turkey signed transit accords for the rival European-backed Nabucco pipeline.
European companies are meeting in the German city of Munich to sign a memorandum of intent over plans to harness solar power to feed Western energy needs.
Persistent long-term struggle of “Gazprom” against potential construction of Nabucco pipeline has failed. In Ankara the Heads of Turkish, Austrian, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Romanian Governments signed an intergovernmental agreement on the project of the gas pipeline that will deliver gas from Caspian region to Europe round Russia. Meanwhile Germany also engaged with this project didn’t put its sign under the agreement as it is not a transiting state.
One of his first foreign visits as new President took Barack Obama to Ankara for a high-profile meeting with Prime Minister Recep Erdogan and other leading Turkish officials. Obama engaged in classical “horse trading” wheeling and dealing. “I give you support for Turkey’s EU membership; you open the diplomatic door to Armenia,” appears to have been the core of the deal. What other inducements the US President gave in the case of Turkish influence within NATO and such is secondary. Obama’s goal was to break a political deadlock in Turkey to construction of a major gas pipeline to Germany and other EU countries in direct opposition to Russian Gazprom’s South Stream pipeline.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German Chancellor Angela Merkel headed large governmental delegations for bilateral talks on July 16 in Munich. The process, known as Russo-German inter-governmental consultations, involves informal semi-annual summits at which leading business representatives join the cabinet ministers on either side. The Munich meeting reviewed ongoing cooperation projects and considered new ones.
The start of “Nabucco” project accomplishment was officially announced. An alternative pipeline that will supply gas to Europe round Russia will be the first step to reduction of energy and political influence of Moscow in Europe. Defeat of Russia and Georgian approach to Europe – these are the results of “Nabucco” Summit for Georgia.