Serbia Becomes Hub for Russia’s Gas Distribution in the Balkans

By Paul Antonopoulos

Global Research, December 28, 2020

With the TurkStream gas pipeline now running through Serbia, the Balkan country will enjoy numerous benefits when exports begin, such as energy stability, the opportunity to get cheaper gas, and additional tax revenue. On December 25, Serbia successfully tested the TurkStream pipeline project that will connect Russian gas to consumers in Europe, especially in the Balkans. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić revealed that the pipeline will be officially commissioned on December 30.

“The test run was successful. We did not publicize it too much but everything will start on December 30 as I promised. A small ceremony will be organized on that occasion because it is a huge deal for our country,” Vučić said.

The success of the test and Wednesday’s commissioning of the TurkStream brings an end to one of the most important projects in Serbian history. The gas pipeline strengthens the economic and geostrategic position of Serbia in the region as it can now become a hub to distribute Russian gas in the Balkans. The pipeline is 403 kilometers long and stretches from Zaječar on the border with Bulgaria to Horgoš on the border with Hungary.

There are numerous benefits that this gas pipeline will bring to Serbia, but the most important is energy stability. It is a two-way pipeline, meaning that gas can move between Bulgaria and Hungary in both directions. This is important because of energy security and, not only for Serbia, but for the entire Balkans network which can now be expanded.

The entire TurkStream pipeline within Serbian territory has not been built yet, but judging by the pace of the works so far, it will be completed without delay. Another compressor station remains to be completed in Serbia by June 2021.

The gas pressure on the TurkStream route is high enough that gas can pass from Bulgaria to Serbia. In fact, gas from Bulgaria can already be used in Pančevo, to the immediate east of Belgrade, for the needs of the gas power plant, such as generating electricity and heat. The extensive work for the gasification of Serbia, in full capacity, means that the TurkStream will allow Gazprom to export gas to the Republika Srpska, the Serbian-dominated entity that forms a part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, thus being able to deliver gas to the entirety of the country and perhaps even onwards to Croatia and Montenegro.

Five more gas power plants are planned to be constructed in Serbia in the near future. They will be built next to the largest industrial centers in Serbia. 4% of the total electricity produced in Serbia will come from Pančevo, in which thermal energy from the refinery and all its plants will be supplied. With the TurkStream at full capacity, it will be possible to build plants near Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš and Kragujevac. When electricity is produced, thermal energy by-product will be used for large industrial plants, businesses and residential centers.

In addition to energy stability, Serbia will enjoy several other important benefits because of the passage of the TurkStream through its territory. Serbia will have minimum $40 cheaper gas per thousand cubic meters thanks to tax revenues that it will collect due to the transportation of gas through its territory to other countries. The Bulgarians negotiated with Gazprom a 27% lower price because imported gas from Ukraine passes through its territory to other countries. Serbia will be able to strike a similar deal so that Russian gas can reach Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Hungary, through its territory. It is also a benefit as servicing the gas pipeline and accompanying facilities has created job opportunities, and cheaper gas will inevitably lead to greater industrial output in other sectors.

The benefits of the TurkStream in Serbia will soon be realized as the most difficult part of the job was completed, laying pipes at the bottom of the Black Sea. It is for this reason that Russia prioritized finishing the TurkStream first, even though it has a much smaller capacity compared to Nord Stream 2. Nord Stream 2 has been continuously delayed due to Moscow’s anticipation that Washington would not only oppose the project, but pressure involved countries to withdraw and impose sanctions.

But with TurkStream to begin running in Serbia, it has not only consolidated Belgrade’s relations with Moscow, it gives hope to a country that was devastated by a decade-long NATO destruction in the 1990’s. Serbia has not been able to fully recover from the war, but cheap gas and job creation will transform the Balkan country, not only industrially, but also in terms of regional influence as it becomes a crucial energy hub for the entire region.

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

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Will Azerbaijani Gas Compete with Russia in Southern Europe?

The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Paul Antonopoulos, Global Research, 2020

Market Friday: The Pipeline and the Poison


Date: September 4, 2020

Author: Tom Luongo

Pipeline politics, like electoral politics, knows no limits.

With Nordstream 2’s completion on schedule to happen around the same time Donald Trump will ‘appear to be re-elected,‘ the amping up of anti-Russian rhetoric and political pressure was to be expected.

The poisoning of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s supposed chief critic, Alexei Navalny, is the latest sad attempt to stop the Nordstream 2 pipeline. Laying aside the reality that Navalny isn’t any real threat to Putin, the basic question you should be asking is if Putin truly wanted him dead why not just create a pretext for it and shoot him?

This is the first and only reason you need to prove that this story is a bad Ian Fleming short story concocted in the bowels of MI6.

Navalny gets arrested and released in Moscow as often as most people change their socks. So, if Putin the Gangsta’ wanted him dead, he’d be dead.

But Navalny as a political asset for the West as Putin’s gadfly was completely spent. The proof of this is Navalny’s inability to marshal any opposition to the recent referendum in Russia blessing the proposed changes to the constitution.

While the Democrats and the media try to keep the dream of Russian interference into our elections alive we are distracted from what the real operation is — to stop Trump’s re-election and delay until the coup is complete in the U.S. to bury all the evidence of Obamagate during a restoration.

That’s all Russiagate and Ukrainegate and Skripalgate and now Navalnygate are — comfort food lies to angry shitlibs who are still haven’t fully processed the 2016 election and Brexit, kept on a drip feed of social media dopamine hits in a state of perpetual Bargaining so that they never move on to Acceptance

And if The Davos Crowd can put the screws to Russia’s future gas supplies to Europe and stunt its growth with all of this nonsense, all the better. The motivations of the factions pro and con to the Nordstream 2 pipeline have grown so murky it’s almost too much to outline anymore.

There is no simple throughline to this story since it encompasses so many different angles and potential motivations of the players, many of whom have competing agendas.

Merkel wanted Nordstream 2 to make Germany the gas transit hub for the European Union. German businesses reached out to Russia to supply them this gas after the EU destroyed South Stream in 2014. It would give the Germans a lot more control over the Poles while placating the German industrialists who are the source of her power. Her motivation on this has been very clear.

She has also allowed Russia and Turkey to go forward with the second leg of the Turkstream pipeline which goes through Bulgaria, Serbia and into Hungary.

What’s new is that Merkel is finally getting push back from people within her own party over Nordstream 2 which adds to the pressure the Trump administration is putting on her.

Merkel’s modus operandi is always status quo. So, she will always try to placate both sides while still advancing her own plans. For the most part Trump sees right through her and never gives her any wiggle room.

That’s why Nordstream 2 is so important to him, but it is more symbolic than it is about the gas itself. I suspect it is more about the growing influence of the EU and the mission creep of NATO more than any antipathy he has to Putin and/or Russia.

And it wouldn’t surprise me at all for this Nordstream 2 pressure from him to be more about remaking the U.S.’s relations with the post-WWII institutional order — the U.N., NATO, etc. — than it is about a paltry 55 bcm annually of natural gas.

Europe’s future gas needs are so big, with the shuttering of all nuclear power and this putsch towards Green Energy, that, in the end, this isn’t about Germany’s reliance on Russia but rather about Russia profiting from its relationship to Germany.

This tweet says it all and the interview excerpt says a lot more.

The last point is very important because whenever there is about to be a chat between Trump and Putin the well has to be poisoned, as it were, to ensure nothing of substance can change.

And this, to me, makes the most sense as to why Merkel came out so forcefully about the Navalny poisoning, it serves to shut down internal opposition to the pipeline, which no German in his right mind would object to, while appearing to appease Trump and the U.S. by standing tall to Putin.

But this is all nonsense. Merkel will not shut down Nordstream 2 or block its completion over Alexei Navalny any more than I’m going to dress in black bloc and join Antifa.

And that brings me back to the 800 lb. faction in the room, the intelligence agencies who helped create this mess in the first place, which ties us right back to the election.

Who has motive, means and opportunity to create an international incident like this on the eve of the election?

The very people who were caught red-handed in a treasonous intelligence operation used to justify spying on a political opponent during the 2016 election campaign.

Who is desperately trying to push all changes to the current state of play until after the election on November 3rd?

Why is Judge Emmet Sullivan purposefully delaying resolution of the Michael Flynn trial until after the election?

Who is behind the riots in the U.S.?

Who is conducting war games on the election outcome, publishing them in their mouthpieces (here and here) and stating the election will be compromised to the point of having to be resolved in the courts reversing what the result will be on election night?

Who stands to lose the most if Trump is re-elected and a No-Deal Brexit goes through?

British Intelligence, the holdover members of the CIA and Barack Obama, that’s who.

Forget Hillary Clinton, she’s dirty but you shouldn’t care about her. Obama is the one who’s head is actually on the chopping block here, since it’s him the evidence is pointing to as to signing off on all of this.

It’s Obama that was chosen by The Davos Crowd to implement the destruction of Trump, not Hillary.

That’s why we’ve been treated to the greatest show on earth about how the U.S. is going to fail, how the U.S. dollar is going the way of the dodo and the European Union is inevitable.

The only problem with this is it’s completely not true.

This Friday we are seeing what it looks like when you push markets and the political narratives supporting them well past their ‘Best if Used By’ date. A violent snap back which sees stocks fall, safe havens like gold and bitcoin get whacked with the ugly stick and even bond yields rising.

We’re staring at a milder version of what we experienced in March, a sell-everything-not-nailed-down-and-get -to-dollars day. All across the markets we’re seeing a turn towards deflation as the mad scramble for dollars begins now that the odds of Donald Trump winning the election have risen sufficiently to cast doubt on the outcome in the minds of traders.

And the canary in the coal mine for this deflation has, for weeks now, been the inability of oil to rally into this high in stocks. If there has been one thing that I’ve learned in my years of watching markets it is that oil prices never flat line.

That is exactly what’s been going on for the past eight weeks.

So no we have a market correction, long delayed from June, lining up with the height of the election campaign. Everyone is exerting maximum political pressure on each other and it won’t get any better.

With follow-through downside action today after Thursday’s massacre markets all over have thrown technical reversals at the weekly level. Expect more follow through next week as a full-blown panic is likely to emerge here.

But, be especially on the lookout for a crash in oil prices as that will be used to construct a new version of a Trump/Putin bromance that goes something like this:

Now that oil prices have collapsed, Putin will put extra pressure on Trump to steal the election because Putin needs higher oil prices while Biden will go after Big Oil if he’s elected.

The reality is that the global economy was broken by these lock downs and the now indisputable over-reaction by governments to effect fundamental political change and oust Trump from power.

But they are also continuations of decades-long policies of pipeline politics dictating where capital is allowed to flow. In the grand scheme of things Trump and Putin are near-equals as enemies to the people behind these policies.

And that’s why whenever things look good for them, sacrifices must be made. This time it was Alexei Navalny.


By Tom Luongo
Source: Gold Goats ‘n Guns

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