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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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