Russia continues to play hardball with natural gas for the European Union, trying to get Brussels to sacrifice Ukraine in return for the promise of better relations with Moscow.
The European Commission’s vice-president for energy union, Maros Sefcovic, visited Russia on January 14 to ask exactly what Moscow’s intentions were about the now-cancelled South Stream pipeline. Russian President Vladimir Putin had announced late last year a Russian plan to substitute for it a huge 63 billion cubic meter per year (bcm/y) pipeline project under the Black Sea to Turkey and then up to the Turkish-Greek border.
Moscow Tries to Turn the Natural Gas Pipeline Screw
Sefcovic was told that Russian shipments of natural gas through Ukraine would end and that if the EU wanted the gas, then it would have to get it through the new planned pipeline, which Russia has suggested could be called “Turk Stream”.
The new Russian ploy does amount to the threat of a new cutoff, albeit one with a kindler, gentler face. The threat came from Gazprom chief Alexei Miller while the EU minister Sefcovic was in Moscow. Miller bluntly told the press, “We have informed our European partners, and now it is up to them to put in place the necessary infrastructure starting from the Turkish-Greek border.”
Full article: Russia’s ‘Turk Stream’ move against Europe (Eurasian Security)