Tuesday, January 22, 2008

An Energy Eye on Russia: Week 2/Bulgaria 4 Days Ago, Today "Gazprom Takes Control of Serbian Oil"

So the date set by the BBC article I read on Friday quoted January 28th as the deadline for Serbia to decide on its deal with Gazprom. It seems that Dejan Stojadinovic is right, Serbia just cannot refuse the cashy "security of supply" from Gazprom. Though, I might once again reference the Ukraine in 2006 - which also affected Serbia. Serbia, according to the BBC, relies on Russia for 91% of its gas.

In fact, it seems I was misled by the BBC title "EU warns Serbs on Russia Gas Deal" as a Slovenian expert is quoted by the NYTIMES as saying “In all its negotiations with Serbia when dealing with the future status of Kosovo, the E.U. never brought up with Serbia the issue of energy security and how Serbia could play an important role for Europe.”

Serbia is offered the position as a gas hub, with the South Stream pipeline being directed through Serbia. Additionally, energy infrastructure improvements have also been promised.

Even more importantly, Russia has no intention of liberating Kosovo - exactly the opposite of the US and the EU. But then again.. the EU "hopes" this isn't the driving factor.

Is the EU upset about the energy deal? Or are they just concerned for Kosovo? Belgrade said the EU couldn't possible supply Serbia with the gas it needed. If I were the EU, I'd be upset about both. Now what?

This kind of reminds me of a game of Risk - except my friends would sometimes flip the board after enough deals went south.

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