Monday, 9 June 2014

The great game anew

Poor little Bulgaria. Known for its endemic corruption, which even the EU has described as breath-taking, is having a hard time. In the recent past it has been known for its place as being the only Country in the EU where a former Prime Minister has been jailed for corruption.

Now though the US has stepped in to make sure Bulgaria is involved in the Great Games on the side of the EU and US. Bulgaria had agreed to help Russia build a South Stream gas pipeline (funded by Gazprom) which would mean that gas could come from Russia via the Balkan states and avoid Ukraine.

With the recent events in mind, the US has stepped in which EU backing to put a stop to this project and called into question the process of bidding  - as Russian and local firms helpfully won the tender process which seems to have not included major Western manufacturers, natch.

So little Bulgaria, caught rigging its own processes and taking the Russian rouble, will now have to be paid up member of the EU. Best of all Bulgaria has said this is unhelpful interference by the EU and just this morning the Energy minister has said the building of the pipeline will prove 'irreversible.'

Russia has yet to make a meaningful comment as it must decide what step to take next. Russia may well find it harder to work with full EU members than putting pressure on the Ukraine and former CIS Countries who have no NATO guarantees.

We will see how this plays out, it is possible the Russians have expected this and after all, if they conquer Ukraine they won't need the South Stream project anyway.


dearieme said...

The EU & USA are certainly giving Russia some interesting incentives.

It all seems pretty moronic to me: we should kiss and make up.

A suggestion said...

... and get rid of Ashton and that thing calling itself the Commissioner for Expansion.

Jer said...

As dearieme said.

The Americans are bad news, we should unhitch our wagon from them pronto.

hovis said...

"the Russians ..., if they conquer Ukraine ..."

Do you truly think that's their endgame CU?

CityUnslicker said...

I think they are doing a lot of scenario planning Hovis. And looking East becuase they think the West is permanently damaged for them....

Sebastian Weetabix said...

The Russians (at least in my experience) really don't do "win win".

Nick Drew said...

SW - amen to that, it's win-lose all the way: "kto kvo", as they say

[I recall having an e-discussion with Hatfield Girl of fond memory: I said, if the 21st Century is destined to belong to China, well, at least that's a sight better than Russia

She disagreed: Russia is part of Christendom / Europe / civilisation etc. Well I've lived there and my response is: up to a point ... ]

Sebastian Weetabix said...

My experience is the Russians srcrew you openly, but the Chinese do it subtly behind your back, a bit like Highlanders. (The best revenge being the one your enemy doesn't know about.). I'd love to be a fly on the wall when they negotiate with each other.

They both have a right good sense of humour though!

Nick Drew said...

The problem with a habit of screwing people openly is that you rapdily run out of anyone willing to do business with you. The Russians see this clearly enough, but they just can't help themselves.

Subtle screwing is (IMHO) not always what it seems. The 'screwer' thinks: haha ! got you there, and you didn't even notice. The other party, if indeed they ever notice, can frequently reply with a shrug of the shoulders and say: yes, but that's an issue I don't even care about, so good luck to you

that's win-win, & it's how the world goes around: Jack Spratt never wanted the fat, and his wife never wanted the lean.

[I don't doubt there are also truly awful cases of being done over by the Chinese ...]

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My personal encounter may be the Russians srcrew a person freely, however the Chinese language get it done quietly at the rear of your own back again, a little such as Highlanders. (The very best vengeance becoming the main one your own adversary does not learn about. )#). I would adore to become a travel about the walls once they work out with one another.

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