One of the most ardent opponents of the "Nord Stream - 2» - Slovakia, apparently gave up and agreed to support a major project to Russian interests. Gazprom is trying to pay off a political attack against the "Nord Stream - 2» economic arguments - and, it seems, quite successfully. What he found arguments?
Gazprom and the operator of the gas transmission network in Slovakia Eustream agreed to the Slovak gas transmission capacities in the framework of the project "North Stream 2» in the long term, he said on the eve of the head of Gazprom Alexei Miller. "If the parties have agreed, then we decided that agreements are mutually beneficial", - he said, refusing to specify the details of the agreement.
Slovakia transports Russian gas to Europe coming through Ukraine. Gazprom plans to build a "Nord Stream-2» to replace the Ukrainian transit Slovakia meant the loss of income from transit. It is not surprising that Slovakia was one of the fiercest opponents of the "Nord Stream-2».
Slovak Economy Minister Hudak Vazil previously complained that the country will lose 400 million (360 million euros) a year due to the appearance of the "Nord Stream-2». Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev recently at a meeting with a colleague in Bratislava said that Slovakia receives annually 700-800 million from transit.
Discrepancies can be explained by the fact that Ukraine is now transported through itself to Slovakia only half of the total Slovak transit. Then the other half goes to Slovakia through the first "North Stream" was launched in the year 2012.
For its own needs, Slovakia bought from Gazprom last year 3,8 billion cubic meters of gas. Transit through Slovakia passed 37,8 billion cubic meters. It is not excluded that some of the Russian gas from the "Nord Stream" comes through Slovakia and Ukraine in the form of reverse gas. But this is unprofitable (therefore unlikely). Where the virtual reverse scheme is cheaper (in terms of securities, gas comes from Slovakia to Ukraine, but in reality Ukraine takes the agreed volumes out of its transit pipe, thus both sides save on transportation). Slovak operator Eustream launched a large-scale reverse of gas to Ukraine in September 2014. In 2015, Ukraine bought from Slovakia thus 9,7 billion cubic meters of gas. For comparison: from Hungary came only 0,5 billion cubes of a curtain, from Poland - 0,1 billion cubes.
Gazprom Cooperation with Slovakia in the "North Stream-2» provides for the supply of gas through Germany to the Czech Republic through Slovakia and further to the Austrian hub Baumgarten (in the Gazprom contracts, as a rule, is the point of European consumers receive gas).
Thus, in Slovakia there is no question of the loss of revenue from the transit after the termination of gas transit through Ukraine to 2020 years. Gazprom makes once one of the most vocal opponents of the "Nord Stream-2» into an ally.
Brexit helped Slovakia to make the right choice
In fact, Bratislava sells to Ukraine, which not so long ago zealously supported. However, in this case there is nothing personal - benefits outweigh political considerations.
Slovakia was at a crossroads. "The first way - to continue to fight the" Nord Stream-2 »and expect that Brussels will block the project. But if this way fails and the "North Stream-2» is built, Slovakia may remain without any transit and revenue. Because we need only the Czech Republic, in the Austrian gas hub can get without Slovakia. A connecting Slovakia to the transit or not - it is a question of goodwill Gazprom ", - says the newspaper VIEW CEO of the National Energy Security Fund Konstantin Simonov.
According to the agreement signed in Bratislava chose the latter, more profitable way for her. Slovakia realized that Nord Stream 2 will inevitably be built, and the transit through Ukraine will be, if not completely closed, the significantly reduced. And that means - and in Slovakia.
It is possible that making the right choice Bratislava helped to the referendum in the UK. «Brexit means strengthening the role of Germany and reducing the role of Brussels. Brexit can seriously help the "Nord Stream-2", because Germany - the main economic lobbyist for the project "- Simon said.
The intrigue is that Slovakia for the "Nord Stream-2», in fact, unnecessary transit link. Therefore, an agreement in the framework of this project with Gazprom can be considered as support (in other words, a bribe) Moscow, Bratislava.
Now the transit of Russian gas goes through the whole territory of Slovakia and Germany will only go to Slovakia. That is a distance of transit through Slovakia of the "Nord Stream-2» will be in any case less, and transit fees depends on the mileage. Therefore, an agreement between Muscovy and Bratislava concerned, above all, the tariff for transit. Now the rate is over 100 km transit.
"But if you pay for the transit of kilometers Slovakia loses the current income. Therefore, Bratislava would very much like to Gazprom paid network tariff, that is, for the passage of gas than 100 km, and for the passage of gas through the country, and thus kept Slovakia the same amount of money as now, but for less than a kilometer, "- says the head of FNES.
Poland on the way
Poland, according to the expert, is also beginning to realize that if you do not participate in the project "North Stream-2» now, then later find yourself an outsider. Warsaw already probes the ground in order not to be left with nothing, together with Ukraine.
Immediately two independent and public sources said that Warsaw has expressed a desire to buy the gas flowing through the "Nord Stream-2». Although Poland itself, for obvious reasons, while tends to hide such an interest in this project.
From Poland to negotiate difficult, recognize Simonov. First, there's a very strong anti-Russian political mood. Secondly, for her departure from Ukraine transit is not so critical. After all, Poland powered mainly on Belarusian pipe.
"Poland is not a transit country in the framework of the" Nord Stream-2 », here the story is different than with Slovakia. Poland wants to become a recipient of Russian gas through the "Nord Stream-2». Therefore, there will be bargaining on the price and volume of Russian gas supplies ", - says Konstantin Simonov.
All attempts to rid Poland of Russian gas suffered a serious setback. This project is an LNG terminal in Swinoujscie on which Qatar will supply all 1,5 billion cubic meters of Gazprom's significantly more expensive. Plans to build a pipeline to connect Poland with the Norwegian shelf, is only on paper - it is expensive and does not guarantee the supply of cheap gas.
A refusal to discharge the political hype around the "North Stream-2» and generally for the reduction of a degree of political negativity in relation to Russia, Gazprom may offer a good price for gas. The second - a minimum guarantee of preservation of Russian gas transit to Poland from Belarus, as well as a maximum - an increase of transit. Warsaw, in contrast to Slovakia, the choice is not made. But to abandon it would be extremely difficult.
The rest yourself surrendered
In addition to Slovakia and Poland against the "North Stream-2» also performed the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria and Greece. In March, almost all of them have signed a corresponding letter to the head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
With regard to the Czech Republic, it has long been included in the project "North Stream-2», which is the route as OPAL-2 pipeline will pass through Germany and the Czech Republic to the Austrian hub of Baumgarten. This country needs a pipe. "The Czech Republic is a letter against the" North Stream-2 »signed under pressure. Because it is not necessary. I firmly communicate with the Czechs, they say they are just waiting when the "North Stream-2» build. Just politically they were told that it is necessary to sign the letter, had nowhere to go, "- explains Simon.
Hungary, in his opinion, also signed trubypod against political pressure. "Hungarian Prime Minister and accused so that he is Putin's agent. Therefore, from Hungary it was reputational decision - to sign any non-binding letter. But as Hungary will receive gas from Baumgarten, it is easy to pass the Ukraine ", - said the expert.
As for the Baltic states, they are willing to subscribe to any document, if it is against Russia. "Neither Ukraine nor the" North Stream-2 »are not at all to do with the Baltic countries. They receive gas from other routes, and this story is economically not regard ", - says the source. Here agree, apparently meaningless.
Greece and Bulgaria depend on the Ukrainian transit, receiving Russian gas through Ukraine, but the "North Stream-2» this problem does not affect. "This part of the volume of" Nord Stream-2 "does not take away, it's just a question of the" South "and" Turkish Stream ", - says Simonov.
By the year 2020 terminate the validity of the transit agreement in Kiev and Moscow, and must make a second pipe "Nord Stream". Gazprom said it does not mean the complete closure of transit through Ukraine, in this case through Ukraine may remain transit 10-15 billion cubic meters of gas (just for supply to South-East Europe), unless, of course, will not be revived one of the southern projects Gazprom ( "Turkish" or "South stream").
"I do not exclude that in the end we will build" South Turkish Stream ", as I call it. This will be the best option. Two pipes will be run in parallel across the Black Sea, and then in the area of the Turkish-Bulgarian waters diverge - one pipe will go to the left in Turkey, and the second - on in Bulgaria. And this stream will take on Turkish, Bulgarian, Greek and Balkan gas volumes (which now goes through Ukraine). Roughly speaking, 15 billion cubic meters will go to Turkey, 15 billion - to Bulgaria and further ", - said the head of FNES.