Russia’s nuclear energy expansion – a geopolitical footprint?

For all Russia-watchers, oil and natural gas usually dominate the media discourse on Russia’s energy policies and the role they play in the country’s foreign policy deliberations. From the European perspective, this is entirely understandable, keeping in mind the paramount importance of Russia as a supplier of the blue fuel for a major part of the continent. I have myself many times written on the … Read more…

Bulgaria on course to diversify gas supply sources

Bulgaria has recently moved ever closer to diversifying its sources of natural gas supply. This time, it seems it may be happening with less geopolitical grandeur and fanfare. After years of flirting with Russia over its monster pipeline projects on the Balkans, a 182km long gas interconnector link with Greece may do the trick. The source? Most probably Azeri gas. On 17 May in the … Read more…

Is South Stream making a silent return?

There is no official document that shows the South Stream gas pipeline project has been cancelled, it has been “frozen” and could be re-activated if such need would arise, Pavel Zavalny, chairman of the energy policy commission in the Russian Duma, said in an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio on Monday. The Ukrainian gas transit infrastructure is will be getting more and more unreliable in … Read more…

Bulgaria vs Nord Stream 2: Set the priorities right

Bulgaria will not be signing a letter of opposition to the Nord Stream 2 project, a planned expansion of the existing Nord Stream gas pipeline between Russia and Germany through the Baltic Sea, the country’s prime minister Boiko Borissov told reporters on 29 November. A few days earlier, media reports announced that ten EU member states from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) – Czech Republic, … Read more…

How Nord Stream 2 could affect the Central and Eastern Europe gas market? (op-ed)

By Wojciech Jakóbik.  Poles boast that upon completion of the LNG terminal construction in Świnoujście will provide one hundred percent independence from Russian gas supplies. If Russia will not cooperate, then Poland will bring the raw material from another direction, using reverse flow services or the LNG terminal. However, the problem lies in the fact that Warsaw has already revealed the plan that could undermine the … Read more…

Gazprom’s pipelines – dead end or stratagem?

For those who follow the saga of Gazprom’s pipeline projects the recent months certainly offered a decent spectacle. Ever since the cancellation of South Stream and the announcement of Turkish Stream in December 2014, the information puzzle around Gazprom’s actual intentions and capabilities has been growing in complexity. The lack of clarity and transparency allows for speculations by observers over occasional media reports or press … Read more…

A new pipeline is born on the Balkans – Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania will build a “Vertical Interconnector”

“The gas map of South-Eastern Europe is changing”. These are the words of the Bulgarian deputy prime-minister Tomislav Donchev at a working meeting on 22 April in Sofia. A three-side working group consisting of representatives from Romania, Greece, and host nation Bulgaria convened in the capital in order to initiate the construction of a “Vertical Gas Interconnector”. The project is designed to connect the three countries’ … Read more…

Pipeline puzzles on the Balkans – “South Stream” is dead, long live “Turkish Stream”

On 7 April the foreign ministers of Greece, Turkey, Serbia, Macedonia, and Hungary met in Budapest to discuss plans for cooperation in the energy sector. A common declaration was signed whereby the first diplomats of the five states agreed upon the need to improve energy security and develop an alternative gas supply route through South-East Europe and Turkey thus enhancing the friendly relations in the … Read more…