Since the beginning of this century, Russia has been to control the supply of natural gas to other countries. To counter its energy supply foreign policy, the EU has developed a number of measures to curb Russia's control of natural gas, but it is still difficult, the current effectiveness of how?
Russia is the world's most abundant natural gas resources in the country, ranking first in the world. Russia once in the supply of natural gas on the grounds in an attempt to control other countries, although at present the Russian with natural gas can still maintain a certain political influence, but compared with before, Russia by natural gas pipeline monopoly to be eroded, the threat level has been greatly reduced.
"To the politics of natural gas".
In the early part of this century, Russia began to use natural gas as a means to expand the political influence, not only to control the Ukraine also includes other countries in central and Eastern europe. This is mainly because these countries have no choice but to import natural gas from Russia. In response, the EU has been the Russian natural gas is regarded as a scourge, to develop a lot of measures to force the trade of natural gas to remove the influence of political factors. Such as the European Union to develop the EU energy package, is to gradually improve the legal system, through the pipeline transportation of natural gas were, and pipeline, infrastructure (e.g. natural liaison stations and network owners stripping, the natural gas can be more freedom in the European transport.
The geopolitical environment In addition, the EU has Ukraine (including the Balkan Peninsula) incorporated into the scope of its energy alliance, this is for those non EU neighbours to expand its range of energy market initiatives, Ukraine is also gradually adopted the EU energy package of ideas and regulations.
In addition to infrastructure, the capital of Ukraine, Kiev has also developed measures to limit energy consumption, including improving the efficiency of winter heating, power stations and more use of coal and so on. 2011 Ukraine for a total consumption of 537 billion natural gas side, 2015 Ukraine for a total consumption of 288 billion cubic meters of natural gas, only imported 162 billion natural gas side, which only 70 billion cubic is buying directly from Russia, also 92 million from the EU to buy, this trend will be sustainable in the future. From the beginning of November 2015, Ukraine will be stopped the direct purchase of natural gas from Russia, despite its through negotiations between the three sides have with Gazprom reached the winter supply agreement, but in winter the 2015-2016, they still is no longer directly from Russia to buy gas.
At present, the majority of similar changes have been a foregone conclusion, although the political relationship between Moscow and Kiev is unusually tight, most of the negotiations between Naftogaz and Gazprom are just economic driven, or the actual demand driven. Because Naftogaz has no longer need gas agreement, may still prevail in the negotiations. However, negotiations may not be successful, because in the past, there are many outstanding claims, counter claims, litigation and anti litigation issues between the two parties. This includes the January 2016 Gazprom in order to increase the cost of natural gas transport costs to prosecute Naftogaz.
Northern pipeline pipeline: not completed.
Although the EU has launched various programs to promote the formation of a common energy market, northern pipeline Russia proposed double track project is indeed a kind of open separation of central and Eastern European gas market strategy, the project is to establish a conveying capacity at 550 billion cubic meters of natural gas pipeline, through the Baltic Sea, directly from Russia to Germany, bypassing Ukraine and Eastern European countries. Germany was elected to do engineering review of economy and Commerce and its opponents said this is that Berlin sell energy alliance, directly with Russia negotiated transactions may also indulge Russia will supply natural gas become more political.
Not only that, Russia's strategy also includes restrictions on the resale of natural gas customers, and from Bulgaria, Poland and including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, including the Baltic countries to obtain unfair prices. The EU said the Russian natural gas abuse of market dominance control through Poland's Yamal pipeline transportation, forced Bulgaria support has been canceled Russia's South Stream project, the project is the natural gas via the Black Sea fleet arrived in Europe.
From the perspective of Eastern Europe, northern pipeline pipeline will still be used in Russia, to cut off the supply of natural gas. From the historical point of view, most of the Russian natural gas passes through the Eastern European country (such as Poland and Ukraine) reach European markets such as Germany; nevertheless, Russia is still trying to cut the road leading to the whole of Europe's natural gas supply, in order to as punishment for Ukraine.
Critics of the project, the construction of more infrastructure to the natural gas directly to Germany, will lift the restrictions on Russia, in particular, so that Russia has the ability to cut off the natural gas supply in eastern europe. Prior to this, cut off the supply of Eastern Europe also means to cut off the supply of germany. Although these Eastern European countries have built up a considerable number of infrastructure for trade, but still scarce, they will still feel very short when the natural gas supply is terminated.
Because of this, including energy alliance members, many Eastern European officials believe that once the pipeline is completed, this will be a serious breach of EU law. While in Germany that pipe part of the sea is not required to follow the EU energy package, which is the focus of debate, the union committee that EU energy package must be extended to the entire European Union exclusive economic zone, and not just within the territories of the EU. The European Commission is still in discussions, and there is no ruling on the matter.
Brussels should explanation for the EU energy package for offshore applications is given, economic feasibility point of view, pipeline project wonders. Once the ruling, will be the owner of the pipeline that currently accounts for more than 50% of the shares of Gazprom and natural gas supply side Gazprom stripping.
In the implementation of the project, Germany has been trying to ease the concerns of its neighbors. Recently, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel explains the Berlin agreed on the need to meet three conditions: including the pipeline construction must follow the law of Germany and does not affect the Ukrainian pipelines, and not to restrict the supply of natural gas to Eastern Europe. Despite Berlin's continued attempts to ease the tension, but once the pipeline is built, Eastern European countries generally believe that after the implementation of the two conditions will be unusually difficult.
Although the pipeline and natural gas supply concerns eased, the dispute is still concentrated in the European energy security issues. Due to the policy of the EU single market, Russia will inevitably remain the region's largest gas supplier. 2015, in addition to 2 billion 400 million cubic meters of natural gas is exported to Belarus and Ukraine, Russia exports 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas to europe. What Europe can do is to take every possible measure to limit Russia's ability to manipulate natural gas supplies for political reasons.