Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Death for Nabucco?


The USA seems to be losing power.

The Nabucco gas pipeline, shown in red, is intended to run through Turkey and onwards to Austria.

The USA wants Nabucco to avoid Russian territory.

The gas could in theory come from places such as Azerbaijan, and even Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

According to the Fiancial Times (Will US ride to the rescue of Europe and Nabucco? ):

"Azerbaijan, which the EU has identified as the key supplier in the first instance, has never made a whole-hearted commitment to the project.

"The head of Azerbaijan’s state-owned energy company was in Moscow last month (March 2009) to sign a memorandum of understanding that pledges the gas from Azerbaijan’s two big new fields to Russia.

"The deal, though not yet irreversible, could sound the death knell for Nabucco."

Turkey occupies a strategically important position, partly due to oil pipelines.

Will Turkey become more friendly with Russia?

Will Germany feel it has to become more friendly with Russia?

At Voltaire Network, on 17 April 2009, F. William Engdahl has an article entitled:

Turkey, Washington’s geopolitical pivot

Among the points made:

1. If Turkey becomes more friendly with Russia, the Nabucco Pipeline may be blocked.

2. The USA wants to weaken German dependence on Russian energy flows.

3. Twice recently, the USA has reportedly got Ukraine's Viktor Yushchenko to arrange a cut-off of Russian gas flows to Germany and other EU countries. This is supposed to make Germany more wary of Russia.

4. Turkish membership of the EU is opposed by France and, less openly, by Germany.

5. US strategy is to extend NATO by bringing in Ukraine and Georgia.

6. Turkey has been allowed to win two key positions in NATO, including that of deputy secretary-general.

7. Obama supports Turkey's entry into the EU.

8. Turkish President Abdullah Gul paid a four-day visit to the Russian Federation in February 2009.

Turkey imports 65 percent of its natural gas and 25 percent of its oil from Russia.

9. On 27 March 2009, a memorandum was signed between the Azerbaijani oil company SOCAR and Russia’s Gazprom.

The memorandum includes a statement about the delivery, beginning in January 2010, of Azerbaijani gas to Russia.

10. Russia has proposed an alternative to Nabucco called South Stream.

F. William Engdahl is an economist and author and the writer of the best selling book "A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order."

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