Russia's Gazprom doubling down on "anti-Ukraine" Baltic pipeline - Forbes
Russia's biggest gas company is really doubling down on its proposed Nord Stream II pipeline even as political pressure and new realities of the global energy markets weigh against it, according to Forbes.
Gazprom is relentless, and despite its biggest partners being largely sidelined due to a Polish anti-trust decision last year, the Russian juggernaut insists on laying pipe right along a gas line that already exists in the Baltic Sea, Forbes reports.
Some call it the "anti-Ukraine" pipeline. Russia sees it as a way to lock in Europe to longer term supply deals. But this is coming at a time when a number of countries, like India, are turning down long term contracts because spot market oil and gas prices are cheaper.
Read alsoEU should block construction of Nord Stream-2 pipeline – Naftogaz CEO"We know what that pipeline means for us," says Andriy Kobolyev, the CEO of Naftogaz, the biggest gas distribution company in Ukraine. "It means that eventually Russia will no longer need to transit gas through Ukraine to get to Europe. The country would lose billions of dollars and so not only would this be bad for this company, but it would be a problem for Ukraine," he says.
The Nord Stream II pipeline would run right alongside the already existing Nord Stream I pipeline, which brings Russian gas into Europe. The pipeline is part of two routes that would remove Gazprom's dependence on Ukraine.
Read alsoBypassing Ukraine: Gazprom reports on signing another deal on TurkStream pipelineThe other deal is the so-called Turkish Stream pipeline, which is seen by experts as making more business sense than Nord Stream II. Turkish Stream was proposed and signed between the two governments after South Stream went belly up once southern Europe sided with Brussels and Berlin regarding the pipeline's death blow to Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Germany has been relatively quiet on Nord Stream II, which suggests southern Europe natural gas imports would come from Germany.
"Meanwhile, Ukraine is an afterthought," Forbes wrote.