Reuniting Europe

The Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin has punished Bulgaria for not being as pro-Russian as he wants, by excluding it from the South Stream gas pipeline and by abandoning the project of an oil pipeline from the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Varna to to Greek port Alexandroupolis.

Indeed, Russia has had a consistent policy of eliminating countries judged as unfriendly to its pipeline projects, the most recent examples being South Steam, designed first and foremost to bypass Ukraine, and Nord Stream, which circumvents Poland and the three Baltic countries.

At the same time, Putin is trying to take aboard France in the same projects, in which Italy and Germany are already the major partners. GDF Suez is joining Nord Steam and EDF is joining South Steam.

Chosing to whom to sell its gas is only one of the objectives of the Kremlin. By dividing Europe, I think that Putin apparently seeks a vindication for the 1989 events, which led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and its empire.

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