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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/15/15

Russia Fires Ukraine as Natural Gas Transit for Europe

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Russia executed a bold move on January 14, one that was largely unanticipated. It shows the level of disgust with both the coup-based Ukraine government and the European Union leaders and their small state followers.

Ukraine is finished as a supply route for Russian natural gas headed for European Union countries. EU countries get 25% to 30% of their natural gas from the Ukraine pipeline. The gas transiting Ukraine will be diverted to the recently announced Russia-Turkey pipeline. The Turks will create a portal at the Greek border where Europeans can purchase natural gas. The pipeline will be complete in 2017.

Of course, the EU countries will need to build the pipeline infrastructure from the Turkish portal to various European countries.

Russian natural gas delivered to Europe via Ukraine was off 47% in 2014. The end of Ukraine transit will eventually eliminate $1.7 billion a year that Ukraine earns from hosting the pipeline.

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The Ukraine gas pipeline has been a headache for Russia for years. The Russians claim that Ukraine siphoned off gas from amounts intended for Europe. The issue came to a head in 2006 with Ukraine officials confessing that they had taken gas intended for Europe.


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Russia cancelled the South Stream gas pipeline to Europe and
replaced it with the Russia-Turkey pipeline (Image)

Shock and Awe

United States intelligence agencies tapping the phones of European leaders must be getting an earful about this announcement. The EU must replace the Russian gas, 30% of their annual supply, by 2017.

As the conflict between Russia and the EU and Obama administration festered, a number of suggestions were offered as replacement alternatives for Russia's natural gas. This is wishful thinking according to a revealing comment made by Germany's Economy Minister in March 2014:

"There is no sensible alternative to Russian gas to meet Europe's energy needs, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Friday.

"Many people acted as if there plenty of other sources from which Europe could draw its gas, but this is not the case, Gabriel told a energy forum organised by the local daily Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung on Thursday." AFP, Mar 28, 2014

Will Europe be able to find a sensible alternative before the gas shifts from the Ukraine pipeline to the Russia-Turkey pipeline in 2017?

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Russia's patience has reached its limit. Why would that be?

  • The U.S. spent $5 billion to create an anti Russian government in Ukraine, right on Russia's border.
  • The U.S. and EU strongly supported the coup government despite its attacks on civilians in the eastern part of the country and the presence of extremist right wing elements and Nazi sympathizers.
  • The U.S. and EU stenographers in the mainstream media routinely report misinformation, e.g., Russian invasions of Ukraine that never occurred.
  • The U.S. and EU immediately blamed eastern Ukraine resistance forces and implicated Russia in the shoot down of Malaysian flight MH17. The charges were and remain completely unsubstantiated.
  • The U.S. and EU implemented economic sanctions against Russia and specific individuals in Russia that are intended to attack the economy.
  • Since December 2014, Russia has endured a vicious attack on its currency combined with directed efforts to drive down oil prices by U.S. protectorate Saudi Arabia. A significant portion of Russian government income comes from oil exports.

It's called regime change. The Russians know it. The Obama administration and its EU puppets know it. Just about anybody paying attention knows it.

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In response to this, Russia engaged in efforts at a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis (the Minsk Protocols), making major energy deals with China, and construction deals with India through 2035.

It is clear that Russia has taken the gloves off and will begin to respond to the attacks on its people, nation, and leader with real force. Eliminating 25% to 30% of European gas supplies in two years is a stunning move. The EU must scramble to find alternatives that the German Economy Minister says are fictional. Even if it does have substitutes, the prices will be higher and the output dirtier. (Image data)

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