Russian gas can physically return to Europe without the payment going to Russia

Russian gas can physically return to Europe without the payment going to Russia

By
GALINA MARINOVA

What is the geopolitical picture in the region of Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey - is a new energy center forming? Is Russia losing political influence in the region and at whose expense? How will China's "energy-hungry economy, which will only get hungrier," affect the consumption of Turkmenistan's gas? Why is Turkmenistan strongly interested in supplying gas to Europe?

Photo: Bloomberg TV Bulgaria

Prof. Teodor Detchev, Higher School of Security and Economics, head of "Blacksea Caspia" in "The World is Business", 04.01.2023

It is entirely possible that upon an end to the war in Ukraine, Russia will pay contributions in the form of raw materials delivered to Europe, and their price will be put into some funds for the reconstruction of Ukraine. This, of course, is a hypothesis, but it absolutely has the right to live. Then, presumably, Russian gas can physically return to Europe. Another question is where the payment for it will go.

This was said by Teodor Detchev, Associate Professor in the Higher School of Security and Economics, head of "Blacksea Caspia", in the program "The World is Business" on Bloomberg TV Bulgaria with presenter Ivaylo Lakov.

When we talk about the gas from Azerbaijan, we should keep our eyes wide open for the Turkmen gas, the guest also said.

"Unlike Azerbaijan, where the reserves are still not infinite, there are at least three countries in the world that are in physical proximity to us and have huge gas reserves - Russia, Iran and Turkmenistan."

Turkmenistan has huge reserves. If the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline is built, it is a pipe along the bottom of the Caspian Sea, which would cost about 500 million dollars and even Bulgaria could be a majority shareholder in such a project, said Assoc. Prof. Dechev.

"The European Union has long stated that it is ready to pay for the gas pipeline its full price, and then indeed Azerbaijan, in addition to being a country that extracts hydrocarbons and sells them, will also appear in the role of operator of a serious, expensive and very important facility from a geopolitical point of view".

This facility will connect Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan and would radically solve the problem of exporting Turkmen gas to Europe, explained Detchev. There are two Caspian Sea basin countries that are against it - Russia and Iran. Russia is categorically against Turkmen gas going to Europe. Iran has no such restrictions, they want this gas to pass through Iranian territory, but this is difficult for purely physical and geographical reasons, and "there is also the Iran sanctions drama".

"Russia hypocritically states that it is very concerned about the ecology of the Caspian Sea. The Russians don't say “we don't agree with Europe getting Turkmen gas because this doesn’t serve our interestst”. And the Iranians say basically the same thing, but they say they provide all their facilities and terminals to "our brothers from Turkmenistan" if they want to use them".

Bulgaria did not have reserved gas supply slots anywhere, and in this context, the agreement between our country and Turkey on access to the terminals, which guarantees the supply of 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year, is preferable, although we may end up depending from our southern neighbor, instead of Russia, the guest added.

"Certainly every contract has good and bad sides".

Dependence is not quite what it was when "we were hanging at the end of the Russian pipe", commented the interlocutor.
"Slots are slots, and gas delivery can be from a variety of places. The point is to have access to the terminals. In addition, within a year - a year or so, Bulgaria will already have access to the Alexandroupolis terminal, where it has a solid shareholding".

"I am sure that in the foreseeable future the question of the shareholdings of this terminal will be reconsidered, because the Greek side has huge ambitions to increase the capacity of the terminal, and the Bulgarian participation may even increase, if not in percentage, then in absolute value".

"Given that we have access to Turkish terminals, and in the foreseeable future to the terminal in Alexandroupolis, it can be said that the situation is not so bad. And it is always possible to increase the supply of natural gas by pipeline, because the capacity of the interconnector is 3 billion, but it can become 5 billion "with a simple construction of an additional compressor station in Gyumurjina", explained the associate professor.

Regarding the future of the military conflict in Ukraine, the guest said that there is no doubt that the Russian side is looking for a way out of the situation, but so far it cannot come up with absolutely anything, because any way out of the war that cannot be presented as a great victory means a radical change of political leadership. "There are already requests for such a change".

"Russia is growling. The so-called military bloggers do not praise the government at all, and they are by no means independent individuals, and most likely certain people are behind them, probably the so-called military-industrial complex."

The Russians and their leadership can hardly get out of the situation. The Ukrainians can also find it difficult to get out of it, because they are currently in the position of a tactical winner, the guest added.

"They clear the occupied territory and everyone would ask “why did you stop when you were winning”?

External pressure from China and India on Russia and from the West on Ukraine would help bring about peace, but I don't see a formula for the countries to build a compromise. Moreover, there is no guarantee that even if they stop the hostilities now, they will not start again in 10 months".

What is the geopolitical picture in the region of Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey - is a new energy center forming? Is Russia losing political influence in the region and at whose expense? How will China's "energy-hungry economy, which will only get hungrier," affect the consumption of Turkmenistan's gas? Why is Turkmenistan strongly interested in supplying gas to Europe?

Watch the full broadcast here:

https://www.bloombergtv.bg/a/16-biznes-start/114066-ruskiyat-gaz-mozhe-…