Commentary & Analysis

Foreign Subscibers: Abandoning South Stream Pipeline by Russia Is Brilliant Move

Cancellation of the South Stream Project at the end of 2014 initiated an active discussion among readers of the foreign press. Some of them are sure that the decision to close the project can be considered as a sign of Russia’s business foresight.


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Moscow, December 2—RIA Novosti. Readers of foreign publications started a discussion about how closure of South Stream pipeline project and expansion of Blue Stream capacity would affect the well-being of the EU member countries, as well as how relations between Russia and Turkey would develop further.

Thus, reader of FT Cheetah43 wrote: “It would be mutually beneficial for Russia and Turkey, which imports most of the natural gas from Russia. Just look at the map to see that the gas supply to South Europe through Turkey is more logical than constructing an underwater pipeline to Bulgaria; the latter borders with Turkey. That highlights Turkey’s ability to pursue an independent politicy. It is obvious that the EU has deprived Bulgaria of such an opportunity for political reasons”.

Some FT readers note that there is no cheaper alternative to Russian gas in the world, and the USA is not able to compete with it even with the help of “controllable” gas from Qatar. “The USA is not able to offer an actual alternative to cheap and reliable Russian gas supply. In my opinion, that is the beginning of the end of the American empire”, wrote bernhard otto on FT website. However, a number of users consider that that decision can benefit Europe as it will force it to switch to alternative energy sources.

Associated Press reader Freon noted, that the agreement between Putin and Erdogan would benefit everybody, except several South European countries through which, as it was expected, South Stream should pass. Thus, “the whole region will receive reliable supply of gas which is not dependant on a single supplier; Turkey will receive transit duties, while Russia will forget about gas wars against Ukraine”—wrote Freon.

A number of users are dissatisfied with a position of Turkey and consider that the USA should influence Ankara to prevent it from making deals with Moscow. “The USA should tell Turkey that it shall terminate the contract, take the side of its NATO allies and adhere to all sanctions, otherwise it (Turkey—ed.) should be thrown out from NATO”—wrote user squeezon on Washington Post website. However, user Habzz believed that we should observe how the situation would develop further: “It is interesting to see what will happen in due course; I assume that as the result it will turn against the EU in some years. Putin has no reason to cooperate with EU and NATO anymore”.

Some readers of New York Times expressed their disagreement with an idea stated in the materials In Diplomatic Defeat, Putin Diverts Pipeline to Turkey that the agreement between Putin and Erdogan should be considered “a defeat” for Moscow. User jamil simaan, noting that the US probably managed to squeeze Russia out of several European markets, wrote: “I cannot understand why this (the agreement—ed.) is a victory for the West and defeat for Putin. Instead of selling great volumes of gas to Europe, Russia will now sell them to Turkey. What does indicate any success of the West? Is it, that it forces Russia to make deals not with Europe but with Turkey and China?”

Visitors of the Guardian website believe that Europe in this situation should think about the prompt resolution of Ukrainian crisis. Thus, user AMArmy commented: “Putin has currently no intention to invest in deals with the EU—especially, in those concerning unrealizable dreams of Eastern Europe about the pipeline. If they (Europeans—ed.) want to get gas supplies, they should first settle the situation in Ukraine”. Yet some readers, namely hiiipower and Bob Vavich, called the agreement signed by the Russian president “a brilliant move”.

German mass-media readers also noted errors of the EU, as well as the benefits, which Erdogan will get from the deal.

“South Stream could be another possibility to be released from dependence on gas transit via Ukraine, as well as to provide the EU member country Bulgaria with a long-awaited source of the income. Instead of it Erdogan will “make business”. If only stupidity could hurt…”—user andreasxalbrecht commented on the article in Der Spiegel magazine.

User kook1979 on Der Spiegel website ironically noted: “The EU and the USA prevented the construction, but now it is Putin’s guilt that the project has been stopped. Faultless logic”.

“NATO member countries actively provoke Russia—shall we be surprised that it protects itself again? It looks like many politicians forget that Russians are not obliged to provide Europe with gas supply forever”—user derewigestudent commented on the article in Die Zeit.


Translated from Russian by Alexander Frdotov / Edited by O.C.
Original artilce on RIA Novosti

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