Energy is currently one of the main mechanisms linking the economy of Russia and the EU countries .
EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said that the European Commission intends to block the construction of the gas pipeline "South Stream" , which involves companies from Russia , Germany, France , Italy, and a number of Balkan and Eastern European countries . The reason for the sudden action by the EU is Russia's recognition of separation from the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Ukraine that Washington and Brussels is treated as gross interference in the affairs of Moscow neighboring state. However, this form of energy sanctions hardest hit not by Russia, and Eastern and even Western Europe.
Energy is currently one of the main mechanisms linking the economy of Russia and the EU countries . Thus, in the structure of the European energy imports Russian "Gazprom" provides a third of gas supplies . In turn, this monopoly is also dependent on the European side , a key buyer of Russian natural gas to the background lasting about 10 years of relatively unsuccessful negotiations with the Eastern partners , primarily China, on the supply of Russian fuel. Key transit route for Russian gas to the EU - the pipeline " Druzhba" , going through the territory of Ukraine and Belarus "Nord Stream" , linking the territory of Russia and Germany. "South Stream" , which together with the " North " fully compensate bandwidth Ukrainian gas transportation system , designed to ensure the stability of "blue fuel" in the case of new "gas war " between Moscow and Kiev , which is especially important in light of the extremely tense relations between Russia and the new Ukrainian authorities . But we should not forget that Gazprom has quite notable competitors - North Africa , Iran and Azerbaijan . Scope of supply of these countries can not be compared with the Russian gas giant , however, and winter is nearing completion . This did not forget to mention the European Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger .
Europeans have long been thinking about how to provide themselves with gas not of Russian origin , in connection with what are considered three projects : Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), Interconnector on the path of the Turkey-Greece - Italy (ITGI) and Nabucco. However , the last project , which was scheduled to transport gas from Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan , was frozen June 28, 2013 , and then became a priority Trans Adriatic Pipeline . However, ITGI was also doomed to failure because the consortium " Shah Deniz " rejected the possibility of Azerbaijani gas supplies to this artery .
As a result, now the only real competitor to Gazprom - a project TAP. And then it is likely future competitors , because now he froze in anticipation of the completion of the Trans-Anatolian pipeline future (TANAP) and the development of "Shah - Deniz- 2" . The cost of the second part of the project on development of the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field is estimated at $ 25 billion. Get there first gas is planned for 2018. Thus, four years later calculations EU to reduce its dependence on Russian gas may well be true. But it is estimated by experts as yet far perespektiva .
A number of Russian and European experts also predict that the increase in load the "North" and "South" flows (the latter is scheduled to earn in 2015 ) will make unnecessary Ukrainian gas transportation system , and its low load is not enough even to maintain physical health . As a result of the Ukrainian transport system will refuse all that cancels the urgency of the energy issue in the triangle Moscow -Kiev- Brussels .
Therefore, the threat of Mr. Ettinger is not entirely serious, because they are contrary to the interests of the EU and benefit needs of the new government in Kiev. In addition to the possible suspension of construction of the "South Stream " European party voiced the idea that on the background of the Crimean crisis plans to reduce cooperation with "Gazprom" . In this context, called the decision about non "Gazprom" to participate in pumping gas through the pipeline OPAL - « branch » "Nord Stream" , distributing "blue fuel" in Germany. However, this step should not be interpreted in terms of economic sanctions against Moscow. Confronting European Commission and Parliament the growing influence of "Gazprom" in Europe and in particular in Germany, has been going on for several years. In this story, there were successful lawsuits European companies to the Russian monopolist , and searches in its offices in Europe , and now the outright refusal to allow the company to gas distribution networks in the EU. This happens because of disagreement "Gazprom" to play by European rules of the game and take the so-called " Third Energy Package ", which would oblige the monopoly transfer their pipelines independent control with the ability to program separate its other suppliers. Such an approach is unacceptable to Moscow. Therefore, the struggle over the admission to the European monopoly "body" will continue. But this is in no way associated with the alleged occurrence of the Crimea to Russia , leading to the conclusion - talk about major energy sanctions against Russia remain just talk .
Another thing is how to behave country on whose territory the pipeline " South Stream " , namely , Bulgaria, Serbia , Hungary , Greece, Slovenia , Croatia and Austria. For example , Bulgaria and Serbia , where Gazprom has already begun work on paving the " South Stream " , the pressure on the heads of these countries is already underway by the European Commission . And former Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov told Bulgarian media in the light warning Ettinger freezing the implementation of " South Stream " that nobody gives rights commissioner to negotiate on behalf of the countries along the route of a new gas artery. Previously, the decision not to interrupt the preparatory work for the construction of the gas pipeline " South Stream " on its territory , according to Reuters, has already informed the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Plamen Oresharski .
As you know, today in Europe, two levels of government : national and EU level of the European Commission , the European Parliament . The problem is that interstate relations in the energy sector are engaged in individual governments . At the European Commission is working to actively ensure that these powers are transferred to her that she was a single representative of the whole of Europe. The European Commission is actively working to ensure that these powers are transferred to her that she was a single representative of the whole of Europe. But the countries concerned countries do not want to give these powers . However, their arguments that the relations within the European Union are governed by the level of the EU and yet these countries are trying to bring their rules into line with European Union legislation in general. And in this , there are some disputes . After the "South Stream " agreement concluded with countries. European Commission is trying to get into this process based on the obligations of countries to comply with the norms of the European legislation . A Gazprom for these countries insist that there should be an exception for this project because such exceptions have been repeatedly .
Meanwhile, the operator of a project underwater " South Stream ", South Stream Transport BV, ready for the end of March to sign a contract for laying the first strand artery and supply pipes for its second thread. Thus, despite the threats of the EU , the gasification process , bypassing Ukraine continues.