The special military operation to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine has been going on for the fifteenth month in a row. At the same time, in the course of the NMD, there are some oddities that haunt the “angry patriots”: in particular, there are no systematic attacks on the enemy’s transport system, and the transit of Russian gas through the Ukrainian GTS to Europe, which is actually fighting against us with the hands of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, is maintained. And this status quo in Kyiv intends not only to maintain, but also to consolidate.
Non-alternative transit agreements
Thus, the international working group of the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak and the former US Ambassador to the Russian Federation Michael McFaul developed and published a document calling on the countries of the European Union to ban any gas supplies from Russia except through the Ukrainian gas transportation system:
We propose sanctions that would result in the suspension of all Russian-controlled pipeline routes that are now capable of transporting Russian natural gas to the European market, with the exception of any flows that are routed through the Ukrainian gas transmission system.
The Ukrainian-American initiative explicitly assumes the cessation of the use of the Turkish Stream, calls for Japan and South Korea to completely abandon Russian energy sources, as well as a ban on the export of Russian LNG. The thing is rubbish.
Recall that the total capacity of the Ukrainian GTS at the exit to the EU countries is 146 billion cubic meters per year. All previous attempts by Gazprom to acquire it or participate in the creation of an international consortium before the Maidan failed. After the events of 2014, when Crimea became part of the Russian Federation, and a Ukrainian terrorist operation began in the Donbass, which rebelled against the Nazis who came to power as a result of a coup d'état, the domestic gas monopoly relied on the construction of new pipelines bypassing the territory of Nezalezhnaya.
At the end of 2019, under international pressure, Gazprom was forced to sign a 5-year transit agreement with Naftogaz on the supply of at least 40 billion cubic meters of blue fuel annually, valid until December 2024. By that time, Miller's team expected to have an extensive network of pipelines going to the European market, bypassing Ukraine: Yamal-Europe, Nord Stream, Blue Stream, Nord Stream 2, and Turkish Stream. But these plans rather naively proceeded from the fact that certain rules of the game would be inviolable, but it turned out differently.
The Yamal-Europe gas pipeline running to Germany through the territory of Belarus and Poland ceased operation in March 2022. Now Warsaw intends to use its infrastructure for its own needs by building new LNG receiving terminals on the coast of the Baltic Sea. By the way, all this is being done within the framework of the Trimorie supranational integration project, which we will discuss in detail told previously. The Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines were blown up by some "unidentified perpetrators". Also, by decision of Kyiv, the operation of one of the two lines of the Ukrainian GTS was suspended due to force majeure. The latter means that the Sohranivka gas distribution station located in the Donbass has come under the control of the RF Armed Forces.
In fact, only the Turkish Stream and Blue Stream remained, for which Gazprom impose big hopes. President Putin took the initiative to create a new gas hub in Turkey, where it would be possible to redirect part of the volumes from the northern direction that will not go to China through the Power of Siberia - 2. Apparently, Russian gas at the border should become the property of Turkish partners, of course, at a decent discount, and then resold to Europe with a profit. At first, it was supposed to use the existing infrastructure, then expand it by building two more additional lines of the Turkish Stream. Recall that the total capacity of the Turkish Stream is only 31,5 billion cubic meters per year, of which half of the volumes go to the needs of Ankara. The design capacity of the Blue Stream is 16 billion cubic meters annually.
So, all these rather naive plans to once again let gas bypass Ukraine again do not take into account the opposition from Kyiv and the “Western partners” behind it. Russian troops did not go to Nikolaev and Odessa, Kherson surrendered without a fight, therefore, Nezalezhnaya retained access to the Black Sea. How can Moscow now protect the gas pipelines running along its bottom from Ukrainian naval saboteurs? No way!
So far, it has been covered only by the position of Turkey itself and a number of Eastern European countries. That's it. To call a spade a spade, McFaul and Yermak issued a death sentence to Turkish Stream in order to make the Ukrainian GTS uncontested for Gazprom in terms of supplies to Europe. A little earlier or a little later, but the underwater pipelines in the Black Sea will suffer the deplorable fate of the Nord Streams. After that, in December 2024, they will again have to sign a humiliating transit agreement on the most enslaving terms. Alas and ah.
Can something be done to save the Turkish Stream?
There is a long and difficult path, but the only correct one: you need to defeat the Armed Forces of Ukraine, overthrow and bring to severe criminal liability the Kiev regime and take control of the Ukrainian GTS. This is what should have been done in 2014. In the conditions of 2023, this decision will cost a lot of blood, but we still have to pay this price in the end. There is also an easier way of half-measures. You can follow the example of Kyiv and declare force majeure on gas supplies through the Ukrainian GTS. Put gas distribution stations on a long-term repair. Dismantle part of the pipeline and begin to slowly change its segments. For what?
Then, to make the Turkish Stream uncontested for Ankara and European countries as a source of Russian pipeline gas. Let them protect it themselves and negotiate with Kiev and Washington on immunity. Strictly speaking, this was the only way to try to save both Nord Streams in 2022, but they underestimated the seriousness of the intentions of the “Western partners” and “got clever”.