Re: Pressure in Russia's gas pipeline in Slovakia drops, Flash News, January 2, 2005
Russia may feel strong because she has the gas, but Ukraine has the pipeline that feeds a quarter of Europe's gas needs. According to the former contract between Russia and Ukraine, Ukraine can syphon off 15 percent as a payment for the use of the pipeline; now there is neither an agreement nor a contract.
Both parties appear to feel that they hold the stronger cards, but in reality there is a virtual deadlock here. One thing is clear though, the EU should have foreseen that this could happen, and should have dealt with this eventuality rather than talking Turkey!
The EU needs uranium from Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan wants to profit from the steady and high income from the also abundantly available oil and gas. To achieve that there needs to be a pipeline from there to Western Europe. That pipeline has to run through Turkey.
France has given us the example [to follow]; some 80 percent of her electricity is produced by nuclear facilities, while the rest comes from hydroelectric sources (including the tide). BP is frantically busy building a pipeline through Turkey, but it will take quite some time before that can become operational. The EU has been looking towards the future so much, that it has had no time to look at the present.