NEO – Putin Pipeline Moves and European Union stupidity

South Stream, the $45 billion project to deliver Russian natural gas via underwater pipeline through the Black Sea to Bulgaria and on to other Balkan and southern European markets, is dead. Russian President Vladimir Putin made the death pronouncement on December 1, during a trip to Turkey to meet Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It has major geopolitical and economic consequences for the EU.

… by F. William Engdahl, … with New Eastern Outlook, Moscow

First published  December 7, 2014

Putin and Erdogan

As Putin explained, “If Europe doesn’t want to realize this, then it means it won’t be realized. We will redirect the flow of our energy resources to other regions of the world. We couldn’t get necessary permissions from Bulgaria, so we cannot continue with the project. We can’t make all the investment just to be stopped at the Bulgarian border,” Putin said. “Of course, this is the choice of our friends in Europe.”

The Russian President didn’t waste a minute to show how he plans that redirection. The real loser is not Russia, but the EU who managed yet again to shoot themselves in the foot by their buckling under to Washington pressure from Victoria Nuland’s State Department and the Obama Administration hawks.

The South Stream would have provided secure delivery to southern EU countries including Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Croatia and also Serbia. It would avoid the current transit pipelines running through Ukraine. Similarly, to avoid a repeat of the US-induced Ukrainian disruptions of Russian gas to the EU in 2009, Russia and Germany agreed the construction of Nord Stream, also avoiding Ukraine.

Now, by forcing Bulgaria, an EU member, to halt South Stream, using blackmail of a Bulgarian bank bailout last June, the EU has made itself dependent on gas security via Ukraine, a country the EU’s own political spinelessness has helped turn into a failed state ruled by a cabal of Brussels-and-Washington backed gangsters and oligarchs. We might use the term “stupid” to describe EU policy on South Stream, were it not for the fact at the end of the day Washington blackmail on the EU caused the South Stream blockage policy to be implemented, just as the economically devastating EU Russia sanctions were imposed only after extreme pressure on Berlin and Paris by Washington.

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Bringing Turkey closer to Eurasia

Russia and Turkey have just signed an agreement to expand the existing Russian Blue Stream gas pipeline to Turkey by an immediate 3 billion cubic meters to the current 13.7 bcm of gas pumped to Turkey via Blue Stream, for a total near 17 bcm.

Putin also announced a fascinating new option, to build a gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border to supply Europe with gas to compensate for the loss of South Stream. He told the press, “We are ready to not only expand the Blue Stream, but to build another pipeline system to supply the growing demand of the Turkish economy, and if it is deemed justified, to set up an additional gas hub for the South European consumers on Turkish territory, near the border with Greece.”

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller revealed that he has signed a memorandum of understanding on building a new Turkey-bound pipeline under the Black Sea, with capacity to pump 63 billion cubic meters to Turkey, about equal to the now-defunct South Stream.

If we follow the motion of his feet and not so much his mouth, Erdogan is above all a pragmatic political survivor. Internal conflict, above all with the CIA-linked Fetullah Gülen movement as I detail in Amerikas Heiliger Krieg, has increased distance between Erdogan and Washington despite Turkey’s NATO membership. Until now, Washington’s neo-conservatives Richard L. Morningstar, now Ambassador to Azerbijan, had relied on an obedient Turkey as an alternative to carry gas or oil from Azerbaijan independent of Russia.

If Erdoğan accepts the Russian offer of forming an energy alliance, it would mark a sharp policy change for Turkey, a geopolitical shift of immense importance and Erdogan knows as much, even if he seems to have a confused idea of a clear strategy for Turkey. A Russian-Turkey energy hub on the Greek border would signal a decisive change of strategy by Erdoğan.

A significant hint of that was contained in the statement that the new gas supplies to Turkey from Russia will be paid in local currencies, not in the US dollar. Turkey already is Russia’s largest foreign gas customer after Germany. Erdoğan has also asked to be accepted in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization led by Russia and China.

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F. William Engdahl is a strategic risk consultant and lecturer holding a degree in politics from Princeton University, and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics; exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

Editing: Jim W. Dean and Erica P. Wissinger

Moscow

Moscow

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Posted by on December 9, 2014, With 4533 Reads Filed under Economy & Business, Europe, Government & Politics, Russia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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6 Responses to "NEO – Putin Pipeline Moves and European Union stupidity"

  1. ProtectUSA1st  December 12, 2014 at 12:47 am

     President Vladimir Putin visited India on Thursday, to show that he still has the BRICS countries, and since India does not back Western sanctions against Russia. His Annual Summit Delegation to India included the leader of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov.

     At a joint Press Conference Modi, pledged India’s continued support for Russia. “The importance of this relationship and its unique place in India’s foreign policy will not change,” he said. The strong ties between India and Russia date back to the 1950’s after the death of Stalin.

     Modi, said “We have outlined an ambitious vision for nuclear energy of at least 10 more reactors,” he said. The two countries signed 20 agreements — including to boost defense cooperation and explore joint energy projects in the Arctic — during talks Putin said focused on “international issues”. “Our approaches to key global and regional issues are either similar or very close,” he said.

     Russia, which has the world’s second-biggest natural gas reserves__ Modi proposed pipeline pumping gas to India, but Putin said, it might not be cost effective, instead emphasizing current arrangements to ship liquefied natural gas in tankers. Russia also agreed to produce helicopters in India, and agreed to advance a long-delayed project to develop a joint fighter jet, among other deals!.

  2. Allesandro  December 10, 2014 at 9:13 am

    To me it just doesn’t make sense. More supply pipelines means more options for delivery from various markets, competition, lower energy costs.

    I’m sure Greece could use any transit fees it might get from transporting Gas , Oil, and finished products through Greece.

  3. Cold Wind  December 10, 2014 at 4:36 am

    I guess the key is that Erdogan follow through and actually implement the Russian offer and what are the real chances for this–given the inevitable US countermeasures? There is the problem of Turkey facilitating ISIS attacks against Russia’s ally Syria. I suspect this aid to ISIS is a sticking point for Putin.

  4. Simpleton  December 10, 2014 at 1:19 am

    There is no way the EU/oil firms can risk billions in reliable gas pipeline supply from puny Azerbaijan dictatorship. A subtle underwater accident(s) and billions wiped out overnight. But the EU leadership has been taken over by the cryptos(hollande,cameron,merkel) of the synagogue of satan which sees Russia as a threat, ” f…” EU citizens.

    • Simpleton  December 10, 2014 at 1:29 am

      An easier solution without involving the two faced turks is even more likely – Russian LNG carriers delivering more reliable cheaper Black Sea liquefied gas in competition with Qatari supplies, cod to all European spot comers, via the Bosporus.

  5. Charlotte NC Bill  December 9, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Another good chess move by Putin.

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