Energy issues are one of the main subjects of the discussion within plenary session of the European Parliament set on February 2nd in Strasburg. Parliament members focused on general problems of the EU energy policy and the outcomes of gas crisis between Russia and Ukraine. Speaking to the session, EC Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs stated: “The agreement between Ukraine and Russia was concluded for 10 years and we can expect that it would guarantee prevention of the kind of situations in future. But still I’d like to underline that EU observers remain on the positions to monitor gas supplies”.
Drawing on lessons from the recent gas supply crisis, the Industry Committee set out wide-ranging recommendations for the EU's future energy policy in an own-initiative report . It advocated emergency action plans, more grid interconnections among Member States and new climate targets to be achieved by 2050, including raising the share of renewables to 60% of total consumption.
Obviously, gas war in its current progress is a next knock-down of the “Putin’s Russia”.
As still there is no other political Russia, each of the kind of strike should be assessed differentially. As well it should be considered weather it damages the dead-end Putin’s model or the statehood itself?
Widely monitored unprecedented gas conflict between Ukraine and Russia, resulting in grave energy crises in Europe, has become not only one of the most acute crises in the relations of the two former USSR states. It appeared to be an alarming sing for CIS countries, political ideology of which is primarily oriented on West European values. And economic interests above all are lying in the most receptive and solvent European market.
The year 2008 will be remembered for its oil price volatility. Crude prices have plunged by as much as 70 percent below USD 40 since reaching all-time highs of USD 147 a barrel. This marks the highest ever prices for oil, followed by the lowest prices in four years. OPEC ministers agreed on December 17, 2008, to remove an additional 2.2 million barrels of crude from the market starting in January 2009 the deepest single cut it has ever made to little avail. The cartel also counts on non-OPEC members Russia, Azerbaijan, Norway and Mexico to compliment the cut by lessening their output. So is two million barrels enough?
Russia was defeated in gas game within its own territory. Major states exporting natural gas agreed on presented Russia’s propositions and measures to stabilize gas market. Nevertheless they refused to give the leading role to the Kremlin.
But let’s start from the very beginning. Ministers of Energy of 14 states, possessing 73% of world gas reserves and providing 42% of world “blue fuel” production, discussed and adopted a Charter of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). This took place on Tuesday in Moscow “President-Hotel”. Speech of the Russian Federation Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was one of the key events.
Last events in gas industry sphere can acutely intensify political tension around Azerbaijan. Moscow meeting of gas exporters evoked serious anxiety within Western states.
Let’s recall the events: on the 23rd of December Ministers of Energy of 14 states, possessing 73% of world gas reserves and providing 42% of world “blue fuel” production in Moscow “President-Hotel” discussed and adopted charter of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum. Russian mass media gladly quoted the speech of Russian Federation Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who, considering the fall of oil and gas costs, stated, that the time of cheap energy had past, that importing states should obtain firm guarantees of gas supply; exporting states should obtain guarantees of their “exporting sovereignty”. Referring to transiting states, i.e. still “hostile” Ukraine, Prime Minister only listed the obligations of gas transition without any problems.