Nezavisimaya Gazeta Predicts: "Turkish Stream" will Inevitably Become Bulgarian
Gas hub projects in Europe are growing like mushrooms after rain, Russia's Nezavisimaya Gazeta said in a statement, "TurkStream will inevitably become Bulgarian."
Bulgaria is ready to accept the second pipe from "Turkish Stream" and counts the days until it will be among Europe's gas hubs. The country has opened a new section of the transit gas pipeline, relying on gas from Turkey, Azerbaijan and Russia.
Representatives of the European Commission backed the plans of Sofia, the newspaper said.
The newspaper commented on the expansion of the transit gas pipeline for Turkey, opened on August 3, by a 20-kilometer section of the Lozenets compressor station to the village of Nedyalsko. With its construction, Bulgaria can now receive gas from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Russia and all of the South Gas Corridor, bringing it 16 billion cubic meters of gas in both directions, 11 kilometers left. "We are ready to build them after the signing of the contract, "said Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
According to experts quoted in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Russia had no alternative but to turn the second pipe from Turkish Stream to Bulgaria.
"If we talk that Turkish Stream will enter Bulgaria's existing gas transport system just in the reverse mode, that's inevitable," says analyst Sergei Pravosudov.
"If we are talking that there should be some additional route to enter the sea directly in Bulgaria, it is not at all about this," he said.
"In the first place, an inevitable option" was, according to him, to load in reverse mode the gas capacities that will not be used once "less gas is pumped through Ukraine". For this purpose, it is only necessary to build a link between Bulgaria and Serbia, says Pravosudov.
If there is already a working infrastructure that only needs a small addition, there is no point in building a new pipe from scratch - something economically inexcusable, says the expert. According to him, this option also does not involve political risks. "Political risks exist whenever new capacities are built, if the old ones are triggered, there are no such ones," he said.
If the different route options are considered, Bulgaria is the weakest link - precisely because of political risks, business analyst Irina Kapitanova believes. Bulgaria risks sharply changing its position in the event of a general shift in attitudes in the EU, she reminded.
The risks to all European projects are common - "these are the anti-Russian sanctions and pressure on Europe by the US," said economist Nikita Isaev.
"US President Donald Trump also seeks to take his place on the European gas market and does it quite aggressively," he explains, "and if tensions grow, EU authorities may sacrifice Bulgaria's interests in the name of Europeans," says Russian observer.
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