Gas: Serbia can benefit from squabbles between Russia and the US

Serbia is lucky that Russia is not cooperating with Romania well which the Italian partner of the Russian gas company Gazprom suggested as a possible partner in the South Stream gas pipeline project.

On the other hand, and as a result of good political relations with Serbia, the Russians decided for the South Stream to run through Serbia.

Now, Serbia is considered as one of the potential partners in the Turkish Stream gas pipeline that is supposed to run through Serbia too. Our country constantly appears and disappears from the plans for construction of gas pipelines, and it has been like this for the past 15 years.

It was Russian President, Vladimir Putin who hinted that Serbia could become a major gas player in the Balkans during Aleksandar Vucic’s visit to Moscow.

“Serbia could become an important element in transit of the Russian gas”, Putin was quoted as saying. He also added that Russia had been working on including Serbia into the Turkish Stream project.

“Serbia could be getting an alternative gas supply route, become a gas transit country and be given the opportunity to solidify its geostrategic position in the Balkans if it builds new gas storages. We should also mention the money that the country could earn from gas transit fees considering that the intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Serbia has been amended to allow Serbia to re-export Russian gas”, says energy expert, Jelena Putnikovic.

However, the problem lies with Serbia finding money to build a leg of the Turkish Stream that would take the same route as the former South Stream. Also, the US has been campaigning against the Turkish Stream project, and has already started lobbying against it. The EU has a final say in the Turkish Stream since it has to make sure that its members have a safe gas supply, just like the North European countries have, thanks to the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

The push-and-pull gas tactics of both Russia and the US in the Westerna Balkans started when Russia began playing an increasingly important role in supplying Europe with gas which did not sit well with the American administration which claimed that Europe depended too much on the Russian gas.

The US is against the Turkish stream project because, once finished, this gas pipeline will boost Russia’s geostrategic pull in the countries that will use the gas from this pipeline (a total of 11, including several in the Balkan region) because it will become their biggest gas supplier.

(Blic, 24.12.2017)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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