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Highway or gas pipe

19 August 2009 / 16:08:41  GRReporter
2649 reads

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin approved the memorandum on building the ring-shaped highway around Black Sea. The road will be 7000 kilometers long and will pass through cities in Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine, Moldavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania and Greece. The papers are still being processed since they need to be unified by the legal and economic systems of each country participating in the project. Countries plan on mutual assistance regarding the project, the building and the technical support of the highway. The reconstruction involved in the project is expected to be covered by public and private funds. Funds provided by the European Union may also be used, as well as lands of international financial institutions. The memorandum will be valid for ten years from its enactment and after that it will renew automatically every five years, unless 2/3 of the countries demand its ending, in which case, however, their objections must have been expressed longer than an year before the 10-year expiry.

This international cooperation project of the Balkan and Black Sea countries is only a part of Russia's overall plan to exercise control not only its former republics- while negotiations on the highway are being led, gas pipe projects are at level zero. Nobody wants for last winter's scenario to happen again.

The recent Russian-Turkish agreement for the building of "South Stream" gas pipe that is going to pass under Black Sea near Turkey and then Greece and Italy, caused a sharp reaction by the Greek parties. In this way Moscow tried to avoid natural gas transportation to Europe through Ukraine and imply that its relationship with Athens and Ankara is "competitive." "South Stream" is also expected to become attractive because of the natural gas coming from Azerbaijan. Moscow's actions disturbed pro-American circles in Europe as well, since they try to promote "Nabucco"'s construction because it will be "clean" of Russian gas and will reach Europe, also passing through Turkey.

Italy and Greece insist on faster decisions regarding the building of an alternative gas pipe. Greece's dependence on Russian gas forces the government to consider more and more alternative sources of energy.

In northern Greece people have found alternative energy sources- they have employed wind energy in wind stations turning it into electricity. Current equipment allows producing electric energy out of wind with a speed between 15 and 90 km/h.

Dilyana Ivanova

Tags: Nabucco South Stream Black Sea highway
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