2014 is the year of WW1 and what else comes to mind when I think about the events at the beginning of twentieth century? Gas.
you cannot see very well in a gas mask
Gas was used for the first time. Much to some people’s disappointment it is still in use. But then war is immoral and it is a tough, brutal world out there.
The take over of Crimea changed the prospects of modern world gas warfare. The South Stream pipeline that is due for completion in 2018 was first initiated by Russia in 2008, to provide gas for southern Europe and further establish itself as a major european gas supplier. The construction started two years ago with Gasprom chasing for 50% and Italians, French and Swiss jumping on board as well. Number of countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia) signed a deal with Putin and then Medvedev… and then Putin.
However, there was (as not is) a problem – Ukraine. The building of Nord Stream and South Stream would cut off Ukraine form venturing on transit of the blue gold to Central and Western Europe. In case of the South Stream the pipeline was supposed to go through Ukraine’s shelf/territorial waters.
There is always an option. The plan B is to just draw a line through Turkey’s waters, but Turkey is also planning on a thing of its own – the Nabucco Project – transiting gas form Azerbaijan and Central Asia to Europe. But as in any other business – who needs an extra agent in the chain? Who would put all the pipelines in one basket?
For now the South Stream project is in the air. So is Nabucco. Both projects’ future is at mercy of Russia’s european partners. Looking at sanctions taken agains Europe’s leading gas supplier South Stream has some prospects.
The biggest problem with using gas is wind change.