The European Commission wants to know the opinion of members of the EU on the development of the project “Nord stream”. The main condition that it coincided with the position of the Brussels bureaucrats. And they already decided that Gazprom will get the permission for laying a new pipe under the Baltic sea. This will likely be followed by new permits for new pipelines that will replace the primary path of gas supplies from Russia passing through Ukraine.
In this crazy logic, and when you do not know what it is, it seems, the money. And money: they hope to get the main allies of Russians in Brussels — the Germans and Austrians. Concerns from these countries are actively cooperating with Russia, have stakes in the fields that are involved in the mining and so on. Putin recently met with the head of BASF, the German chemical giant and key partner of Gazprom. It was, of course, about the project “Nord stream — 2”, reported officially. According to unofficial information, the Germans received some specific promises in exchange for their help in Brussels. Active lobbying of the Russian project is the payment of the debt to the Kremlin, who kindly allowed them the section of his huge raw pie.
The same can be said about the Dutch company Shell, which cooperates with Gazprom, in particular, on the shale deposits. It’s not too advertised, because on the official level, the Russians shale gas critics.
Why blinded by money unscrupulous businessmen praised Russian gas, of course, but why they believe European politicians? To answer this question not so easy. I believe that they are poorly versed in the subject and just want to deepen their knowledge. If they wanted to do it, they would be surprised to find that the presence in Europe for the Russian state concern — a matter of life and death. This is the most important market, which provides Gazprom lion’s share of the profits. Without Europe, the concern would lose its raison d’être.
Last year Gazprom sold on our continent 179,3 billion cubic meters of gas, while total exports amounted to 220 billion cubic meters. Share under the Kremlin’s control of the group is on the EU market 34% and exports to Europe brings him a year, even with low energy prices $ 30 billion in living currency.
All these arguments would allow the European Commission to demand from the Russians, competitive prices and fair contracts, but it is in no hurry to do it. With the beginning of the year through purchases of Germans, Austrians and recently admitted to the gas pie the Italians of gas supplies from Russia increased by 21%. Germany, the main customer Gazprom increased the volume of purchases by 24% year on year. It is not surprising that Gazprom expects this year to increase its market share to 36-37% and earn $ 35 billion.
EU officials should also be aware that the cost of production of gas from “Gazprom” — one of the lowest in the world, so it can safely lower prices for “their” obedient, meek, and engaged in furious lobbying of countries, raising them to the rebellious — Poland or Baltic States.
Brussels should also be recalled that Gazprom has lost its biggest customer, the Ukraine, and is now trying to make up for this loss. In 2006-2007, Kiev bought from Russia 56-57 billion cubic meters of gas. Such imports not reached anyone. Germany last year bought 45 billion cubic meters.
The Russians say that the new branch of the pipeline “Nord stream” will allow to raise security of supply, as Ukraine is unstable and strife-torn state. Does the European Union do not know who creates and fuels these conflicts?
The Russians also argue that the more will be the Russian pipelines, the cheaper the gas will be the EU, and the more competitive will be the market of Gazprom. This argument shows that the concept of “competition” is completely alien to Russians.
I wish it was not so for the Brussels officials, and most members of the EU said “no” to the project “Northern stream — 2”, as well as German, Austrian, Italian or Dutch businesses cooperating with Russia. Only blocking another Russian project will preserve real competition in the European gas market and show Moscow that not all allow her to push you around.