Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Upstate NY! I missed you :)

In fact, when the true history of 1990s ex-Yugo is written, it will show the beginning of a new German Euro-imperial revival...

Interesting to note that the the map of the Balkans is looking strikingly similar to what is was during the 3rd Reich.

I see the Germans working on two further objectives in the region:
> destroying Republika Srpska - and giving full political power to their WWII allies - the Croats and the Bosnian Muslims
> detaching Vojvodina from Serbia (Habsburg wet dream) and in the process spoiling Russia's South Stream projects in the Balkans.

by vladimir on Mon Mar 2nd, 2009 at 07:17:28 AM EST
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Why would Germany want to destroy the south stream project?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Mar 2nd, 2009 at 08:01:43 AM EST
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First: because the more export routes Russia has... and the more direct access it has to client states, the less leverage Europe has when it negotiates with Russia. Imagine the EU's (or Ukraine's) bargaining position if the Russians had gas export pipelines to China.

Second: Because South Stream is a direct competitor to Nabucco, where German interests are greater.

Third: Russian infrastructure on Serb territory will increase Serbia's political power. It's not as easy bombing Russian gas storage facilities as it is bombing Serbia's (which, by the way was the case in Novi Sad during NATO's 78 day bombing campaign of civilian infrastructure)

I'm sure Jerome (who certainly has more knowledge of the energy & infrastructure situation than I do) could add a couple of remarks on this one.

by vladimir on Mon Mar 2nd, 2009 at 08:19:56 AM EST
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Yea - Jerome is certainly the expert on that here.  I had understood that his view was that Nabucco would not happen, and that anything which reduces Europe's dependency on one pipeline route (to Europe) is to be welcomed by Europe as it reduces the leverage of transit states to block imports.

Obviously pipelines to China are a different matter - they improve Russia's leverage vis a vis Europe - although I don't think that China is regarded as a serious price competitor to Europe.

Finally I don't understand why, ultimately, the EU should be any more favourably disposed to Croatia or Bosnia than it is to Serbia - but then I don't understand the geo-politics of the region.  

Any armed conflict is anathema to the EU, but if a peaceful modus vivendi can be found, I would have thought that the EU strategy would be all about creating greater economic, political, social and structural interdependencies in the region.

If that is not the strategy, then the EU has some questions to answer in the forthcoming EP elections...

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Mar 2nd, 2009 at 08:45:16 AM EST
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If South Stream falls through, Nabucco's business case will be considerably strengthened. Nabucco shareholders: RWE (Germany), OMV (Austria), MOL (Hungary), Transgaz (Romania), Bulgargaz (Bulgaria), BOTAS (Turkey).
by vladimir on Mon Mar 2nd, 2009 at 08:56:42 AM EST
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Not if there is no gas to put in Nabucco, which I gather is Jerome's contention.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Mar 3rd, 2009 at 05:10:55 AM EST
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I read here all the time, my teaching/writing is on overload right now, so I have difficulty posting. But I couldn't let this one go.

I am interested in the South Stream and North Stream discussion, and do see them as competing with Nabucco. But one thing to note about South Stream: the size of the pipes is very very small.

At capacity, it can't do what either North Stream or Nabucco can do. It's good maybe for some East and Central Euro countries, and Greece and Italy. But not much gas, relatively, will be moving through those pipes to make enough of a difference. Small potatoes. At least, this is what I've read. And if this is true, then Nabucco is even deader than we thought since it too is vying for a similar route where gas is not all that plentiful.

by Upstate NY on Mon Mar 2nd, 2009 at 11:13:41 AM EST
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