Nord stream: enforcement action

The Russian gas monopoly has already signed an agreement with European partners on the financing. Experts do not exclude that the project can be implemented and told what to do for our country that this has not happened.

The Kremlin continues to implement its program of division of Europe and the formation of tool super-pressure on Ukraine, without which his appropriation of the master plan — reconstruction of the Russian Empire — did not manage to implement. What is happening confirms the news from Gazprom, the main trump of Moscow in all its aspirations: after all, Moscow is trying to realize their ambitions through a time-tested mechanism — who has the energy resources and their delivery, and controls global geopolitics.

On 24 April, the Russian monopoly and its European partners had signed the financing agreement of the “Nord stream-2”. Engie French, Austrian OMV, the Dutch-British Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper and German Wintershall will provide the sole shareholder with a “pipe”, which is Gazprom’s long-term financing in the amount of 50% of the project cost, which is estimated at 9.5 billion euros. The contribution of each company will amount to 950 million euros.

“The financial commitments of European companies emphasize the strategic importance of the project “Northern stream-2″ for the European gas market, promoting competitiveness and medium and long-term energy security, especially in terms of the projected reduction in intra-European production”, — with pride has reported Gazprom. In Europe, yet this news is not react, although the reasons for this are.

The wind, “the North” moderate to strong

The project “Northern stream-2”, twin “Nord stream-1” which is already in force — though its capacity is used only half — involves the construction of two pipelines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas off the coast of Russia through the Baltic sea to Germany. Start “stream” is planned in 2020.

These pipelines deprive Ukraine gettranslatey significance, but also threaten the energy security of several countries in Central and Eastern Europe, primarily Poland, Hungary, Slovakia — they just fly out of the transit energy flows of the European Union. The damages will be enormous — Slovakia will lose 0.8 billion dollars, Poland — 0,4 billion dollars, our country is $ 2 billion.

According to the head of Naftogaz, Andrey KOBOLEV, the pipeline does not contribute to the diversification of fuel supplies in the EU, what never shuts up Gazprom. and provides the EU access to new sources of gas. KOBOLEV considers that the implementation of the project “Northern stream-2” will lead to the fact that the points of entry of Russian gas to the EU will be concentrated almost exclusively in Germany. However, the existing pipelines between the North of Germany and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe do not have sufficient capacity to deliver the necessary volumes of gas in the Eastern European regions.

In this context, loss of transit — only part of the problem for Ukraine. The fact that today Slovakia is the main supplier of reverse gas to our country. Actually, it looks like this is part of Russian gas, which we are delivering, we returned the Slovak party according to the contract. And if our gas transportation system the gas will not, and will return nothing.

The main supplier of Russian gas to Europe if implemented “Nord stream-2”, will be Germany. Its capacity to implement the reverse the Ukraine since the beginning of the “Nord stream-2” which will provoke the growth of competition in the market for supplies to Europe, is not enough. It threatens Ukraine with rise in price of blue fuel, and also likely forced the resumption of gas talks with Russia. That is, the risks are considerable.

In this situation it looks very strange behavior of the EU. Despite assurances that Europe supports Ukraine in its confrontation to the Russian aggression, and sees our country as nothing else major transit country for Russian gas to the EU, in fact, is somewhat different. As soon as in September 2015, Gazprom and Shell, OMV and E. On. signed an agreement to establish a joint project company for the construction of “Nord stream-2”, the Antimonopoly authority UOKiK, Poland voted against and reported its position to the European Commission. The EU information took note and warned — despite the fact that the project is a commercial — Russia and Germany will sign in the case of its implementation the inter-state agreement, it must fully comply with the rules of the Third energy package.

Gazprom and its partners pondered and decided to reformat. The shareholders agreement was terminated, “Comrades,” began searching for a way out of the situation. The main issue was financing the project Russia will not pull, and international banks to assume the guarantee for such a billion dollar liability, especially given the sanctions, it is not wanted.

Meanwhile, the European Commission again, SP will not be — said that “Nord stream-2” is not subject to the main EU energy legislation, moreover, it is not on the territory of countries-members of EU, but only by sea, and invited the heads of States of the European Union to Express its view on the construction of a new gas pipeline to Europe — “the implementation of the project was not conducted in a legal vacuum.” This is despite the fact that twice to the European Commission their indignation at the “Nord stream-2” sent Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia joined the Ukraine…

Another important point — the recent decision of the European Commission, which looks favorable in relation to Gazprom, coincided with “world” from the Russian gas monopoly is being investigated by the EC the case of anti-competitive activities of Gazprom in the EU. The Russian monopoly, which was threatened by a multimillion-dollar fines — his guilt has been proven — backed down and agreed not to hinder the re-export of its gas, has pledged to abandon non-market benefits, no claim against Bulgaria in respect of the failure of the project “South stream”, and to revise prices for a number of consumers, tying them to the cost of fuel to Western European hubs.

By the way, losses of Gazprom from such concessions, according to experts, will be much less painful than the financial sanctions of the EU. And to play it they can, increasing the pumping of fuel to Europe, which guaranteed his projects, including “Nord stream-2”. That is, the European Commission agreed to a compromise with Russia — as they say, nothing personal, just business. It is now rumored that in the fall, most likely, the EC will give up and will welcome another “Northern”.

President of the center for global studies “Strategy XXI” Mykhailo Honchar believes that it is unlikely that the European Commission specifically give permission to the “Nord stream-2”, she just withdrew. “The European Commission just wash their hands. The individual elements in her actions say about it. Under the pretext that it is a business project and it takes place at sea, not on the territory of member countries must be respected when norms of the Third energy package, the European Commission will neither approve nor deny. The EC can claim that it is not right to put barriers in the way of entrepreneurial initiative. And given the fact that there is a group of countries that actively oppose — the Baltic States and Poland, but there are countries that passively oppose the Scandinavian countries, Hungary and Slovakia is the same, the Commission may find a Solomonic decision — the consensus there, and then let the business decide. And it’s a very European”, — said the expert. But what to do in this situation Ukraine, the loss of which in this situation will be most serious?

Principal position — otherwise it is impossible

First and foremost, Ukraine needs to strengthen its relationships with those countries that are involved in the “Nord stream-2”. The pipeline must pass through the exclusive area (coastal waters) Sweden and Denmark, which are still expressed in relation to the project is ambiguous. And their opinions much more significant when making decisions in the EU than not quite heard until now the arguments of opponents of “flow”. It is in these two countries need to intensify propaganda in the best sense of the word against the Russian pipe.

To explain what threatens the Baltic region, the increase of influence of Russia, which already arranges provocations. And how it would end, well illustrated by the examples of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Meanwhile, according to Potter, although Ukraine and opposed the “Nord stream-2”, and this issue is very active is the position of Naftogaz, but we’re out format of the European Union, therefore, first of all, should the Commission require appropriate advice.

“Article 274 of the Association Agreement with the EU, such a dialogue is clearly stated: parties must consider each other’s interests, their potential in the implementation of programs and projects in various sectors of the economy. That is, the EU with Ukraine is obliged to consult before giving the nod to the “Nord stream-2”. Moreover, the surplus of Ukraine’s transit capabilities. The essence of our consultations should be reduced to the following — the EU should ensure the maximum exploitation of our gas transportation system that is in the interests of Europe and its napapatunayan the implementation of the “Nord stream-2” our country will suffer a huge damage. And if you will launch the project “Northern stream-2″, then the EU will look like a hybrid ally of Russia”, — said Gonchar.

But in addition to consultations, according to the expert, Ukraine needs to develop alternative proposals. That is, what are the conditions for the implementation of the project can be put Russia. The first condition is that Russia could build new infrastructure power facilities only after going back to the international legal field — will go to the Crimea and the Donbass, that is, after the restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Until then, the project “Northern stream-2” should be in the EU sanctions list. The second condition was that Russia should positively resolve the issue of crossing the Central Asian gas transit through its tube and then through the Ukrainian gas transportation system to Europe. And it is in the interests of the EU, which is the year that seeks to diversify fuel supplies. The third condition is that Russia must be allowed to export pipe of independent gas producers and to provide them with free access to the European market. Then they will be able to use the GTS of Ukraine, at a time when Gazprom will supply gas through the “Nord stream-2”.

“These are the mechanisms that could be employed and that the Commission could put on the table of negotiations with Russia. And they would have worked, and in favor of Ukraine, and Europe. But I think that political will at this time the Commission is not enough. However, in any case, Russia triumphantly beat the Gong too early,” — said Gonchar. However, he added that it is still very important for the “gas” issue to work actively with the Americans. “In fact the engine of sanctions against Russia — the United States. And there is just now developed two draft laws on the strengthening of sanctions against Russia, with a section on energy that did not previously exist. And they can very seriously damage the energy sector of Russia. For us it is very important,” concluded Potter.