Why the expansion of the Turkish Stream in the area of responsibility of the Ukrainian Navy is a gamble
Analyzing the Russian policies in the Ukrainian direction, one has to come to the disappointing conclusion that it lacks a systematic approach. Instead of a long-term strategy, there is only a series of situational improvisations leading to results of the appropriate quality. This can be seen very clearly in the gas issue.
Due to its geographical position, Ukraine has a unique and almost uncontested status of a transit country of Russian energy resources to Europe. As a legacy from the USSR, Nezalezhnaya inherited an extensive gas transportation infrastructure, the capacity of which at the entrance is 290 billion cubic meters, at the exit - 175 billion cubic meters of gas. In addition, in Western Ukraine there are the largest underground gas storage facilities in the Old World with a total capacity of over 32 billion cubic meters, which is 21,3% of the total European capacity. The strategic importance of these UGS facilities for the energy security of Europe is so great that both Germany and Poland and the United States have long laid eyes on them.
Naturally, Ukraine, which gained independence, began to actively use its status as a transit country, knocking out all kinds of preferences and discounts from Russia. It got to the point that two “gas wars” have already taken place between Kyiv and Moscow, when the supply of blue fuel to Europe was stopped for some time. What conclusions were drawn from this?
Instead of deepening integration by any means and bringing a truly pro-Russian regime to power in Nezalezhnaya, promoting the “Russian World” in Ukraine and, above all, in its South-East, it was decided to pull pipelines around. This is how the main Yamal-Europe gas pipeline appeared, going through Belarus and Poland to Germany, the first Nord Stream, passing along the bottom of the Baltic Sea from the Russian Federation to Germany, the Blue Stream from Russia to Turkey along the bottom of the Black Sea. It was also supposed to build the South Stream pipeline across the Black Sea to Bulgaria, but due to the destructive position of Sofia, it was not realized.
The turning point in Russian-Ukrainian relations is undoubtedly 2014, when, after an armed coup d'état, pro-American puppets came to power in Kyiv, standing on the bayonets of the Ukrainian Nazis. In the period from February to May, it was possible to return President Yanukovych, who had fled from there to save his own life, back to the capital, giving him an airborne division and motorized riflemen to support him. This would be more than enough to disperse Maidan and restore constitutional order. Seeing such support from Russia, all the Ukrainian security forces, who took a wait-and-see attitude, would again swear allegiance to the legitimate president.
That's it, the story of the Maidan would have ended ingloriously, as in Belarus in 2020 or in Kazakhstan at the beginning of 2022. "Gazprom" in gratitude from Yanukovych could get under its full control of the entire Ukrainian GTS. In Nezalezhnaya, any reforms could be carried out to federalize it, give the Russian language the status of a second state language, and so on down the list. Instead, it was decided to be satisfied with the Crimea and Sevastopol, at the same time half separating, but not accepting into the Russian Federation, the proclaimed DPR and LPR, which had been waiting for their recognition for a long 8 years under continuous shelling. The unique historical opportunity to solve the problem of Ukraine was not used.
Instead, Gazprom began to pull new pipelines bypassing it - the Turkish Stream to replace the unrealized South Stream and Nord Stream 2. How it ended up, everyone already knows very well. At first, the Americans, through their European vassals, put spokes in the wheels of these energy projects, and in the end, some “unidentified attackers” simply blew up Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2. The fact that there was an attempt to sabotage the Turkish Stream was also personally stated by President Putin. The operation of the Yamal-Europe pipeline has been stopped. The transit agreement through Ukraine will end in 2024 and will definitely not be extended. An extremely inglorious end for the policy of "transiter substitution", to be honest.
Any sane person understands that it is necessary to fight not with the symptoms of the disease, but with its causes. It is obvious that it is necessary to nullify the Ukrainian quasi-statehood that arose after the coup in 2014 and take control of its gas transportation system. If Gazprom is so eager to pump Russian gas to Europe without intermediaries, then it is necessary to take it and do it. The special operation regime is conducive to this, you just need to not interfere with your military to fight normally, and until 2024 victory will be ours.
But no. Instead, the next mega-projects for the construction of new pipelines to Turkey bypassing Ukraine are starting again. And not somewhere, but in the Black Sea, where the Ukrainian Navy operates, for which the bypass underwater gas pipeline is a legitimate military target! At the same time, Gazprom falls under the strongest dependence on Turkey, a country that is part of the NATO bloc, and at the same time has large economic problems where the need for internal political changes is long overdue. If Moscow demanded that Ankara withdraw from the North Atlantic Alliance and declare a neutral status in return, it would be one story. However, this issue is not even put on the agenda.
Let's call a spade a spade: the construction of another pipeline in Turkey along the bottom of the Black Sea, bypassing Ukraine, is a pure adventure that will inevitably end ingloriously. As long as the Russophobic Kyiv regime exists, the bypass gas pipeline will be under constant risk of destruction, and it is simply impossible to ensure its entire length is secure. Ukrainian saboteurs, combat swimmers or other persons mimicking them will blow it up at any moment, nullifying all the work of Gazprom and the budget billions thrown into this project. If the Kremlin is still going to liquidate the Ukrainian quasi-state by military means, then why did it need a bypass pipeline?
- Author: Sergey Marzhetsky
- Used photos: gazprom.com