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Russia’s Gas Price Discount for Bulgaria: The Problem of Imperial Economic Projects

For a long time Moscow regarded gas line as the source of increasing revenue and the way to project its global influence. Moscow also believed that gas would be always cheaper than LNG and market for gas is bottomless. Nord Stream II and TurkStream have played a crucial role in the setup of the system. However, we see that some problems have emerged recently. There is a clear decline in the prices and interests in Russian gas. It is due to the economic crisis as well as cheap LNG and alternative gas lines. For this very reason, small states like Bulgaria became more assertive towards Russia and compel Moscow to make considerable concessions.

Russia s Gas Price Discount for Bulgaria The Problem of
The construction site of the South Stream, a proposed pipeline project to transport Russian natural gas through the Black Sea to Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, and Austria, December 7, 2012. SASHA MORDOVETS / Getty Images
 

Received Date: 27/05/2020  •  Accepted Date: 16/06/2020

 

 

Russia’s energy/gas policy in general and the Kremlin’s energy/gas policy in the Balkans in particular have been of interest to observers for a long time. Many of them regard Moscow’s policy to be informed not just by economic but also by geopolitical interests. Ten years ago, Janusz Bugajski made this clear: “South Stream is also intended to split the EU and prevent the construction of an all-European energy network linking Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Europe that would be independent of Russia’s control.”1

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