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Gassing Up
Gazprom Gloats over Its European Dominance
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  • D4x

    Perhaps the EU concerns over Ukraine’s border integrity are related to keeping Russia/Gazprom from stopping Ukraine shale gas development: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_gas_in_Ukraine#Shale_gas
    (from 2012): http://www.reuters.com/article/shell-chevron-ukraine-idUSL5E8GBAE020120511

  • Kevin

    Europe should build gas storage and LNG import terminals to reduce Russia’s leverage over them. Russia can go a lot longer without gas revenues than Europe can go without gas.

  • Che Guevara

    Gazprom has shown willingness to shut off supplies mid-winter in order to express its displeasure with its customers.

    No, Gazprom hasn’t been shutting off supplies to customers, even to those customers who acted in a hostile way. For example, Russia didn’t shut off gas supplies to Turkey, even after Turkey shot down a Russian military jet in 2015. Russia still remains the major gas supplier to Turkey even today, and both countries are negotiating a new pipeline. Gazprom shut off gas supplies only to one customer, Ukraine, because Ukraine wasn’t paying for its gas, and was siphoning off gas from transit pipelines.

    • Otis

      Not so. Russia has also cut off Belarus, Moldova and Georgia at various times. It has cut off Moldova for “non-payment” while continuing to supply gas to the separatists in Transnistria, even though Transnistria was the source of the non-payment problem.

      Also, the bald statement that “Ukraine wasn’t paying for its gas” is debatable. Russia has tried to charge Ukraine for “technical gas” – gas that is required in the pipeline to ensure the flow of transit supplies, but which Ukraine itself doesn’t use.

      • Che Guevara

        What matters is that Russia has been a reliable gas supplier to its Western European clients, and that’s why those clients are increasing their gas purchases from Russia, without fearing Russia will cut off supplies. It would be suicidal for Russia to cut off gas supplies to Western Europe, and Western European clients understand this. That’s the point of Alexei Miller’s statement that “our dependence is mutual.”
        On the other hand, Ukraine and other former Soviet republics believe that it’s their birthright to enjoy cheap Russian gas, even as they try to dissociate themselves from Russia. Well, it doesn’t work that way. They are free to buy U.S. LNG if they want. Russia isn’t stopping them.

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