Gazprom Reaches Out To European Customers

July 2009 Vol. 236 No. 7

Despite facing gas production shortfalls post-2010, Russia is multiplying its supply offers to European consumer countries through South Stream and other pipeline projects.

Gazprom signed bilateral agreements on building South Stream with Italian, Bulgarian, Greek, and Serbian companies on May 15 and is negotiating similar agreements with more countries.

As enticements, Moscow is declaring ever-larger design capacities for the putative South Stream pipeline system, rival to the European Union and the American-backed Nabucco and Southern Corridor projects. South Stream’s other goal is to threaten Ukraine with diverting gas transit volumes from the Ukrainian transit system into the South Stream pipeline on the seabed of the Black Sea. The Kremlin will most likely roll back its South Stream project if Moscow achieves its earlier goal of gaining control over the Ukrainian gas transit system.

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