Game of Pipelines: Bulgaria and Russia’s Energy Diplomacy

Gazprom, cc Flickr ruben van eijk, modified,

Geopolitical Monitor, Boyan Dobrev
Over the past several decades Bulgaria has been attempting to establish itself as the center of the natural gas route in the Balkans, but so far it has achieved limited success.

ISIL sells its oil, but who is buying it?

Carole Nakhle
Thanks to the illicit oil trade, millions of dollars enter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's coffers on a daily basis. Although we are getting into guesswork, estimates have varied between $1m and $1.5m a day. Russia's President Vladimir Putin has referred to billions of dollars worth of oil trade, since mid-2014.

Russia vs. Turkey: Geopolitics and Energy Security

MedField, cc wikicommons

Geopolitical Monitor, Omar Mawji
Russia may have just made a major mistake in securing its position in the future of the Middle East. Aside from Russia’s tentative relationship with Iran, Russia had also seemed to have been courting a very powerful Sunni democracy in Turkey. Turkey is very important for Russian gas, making up 58% of Turkey’s gas imports and 19% of Russian exports. Turkey, because of a lack of both transportation and storage, pays double the European price for gas ($13-$15 per mmBtu).

Azerbaijan's and Armenia's presidents discuss gas trade in Tbilisi


Central Asia Caucasus Analyst, Mina Muradova
In recent weeks, a political controversy has emerged in Tbilisi over the Georgian government’s negotiations with Gazprom over a return of the Russian natural gas giant to the Georgian market. Georgian officials insist there is no intention to replace gas imports from Georgia’s main supplier Azerbaijan with Russian gas, but Georgia’s own experience of dependency on Gazprom makes the issue highly controversial.

Nord Stream 2, Turkish Stream Doubtful

By Kostis Geropoulos, New Europe
Two major projects spearheaded by Russian gas monopoly Gazprom striving to bypass Ukraine seem more uncertain than ever as a Russian-Turkish pipeline may fall under restrictive measures against Ankara and Russia’s plans to extend its natural-gas link to Germany faces objections from some EU countries.

China's 'Belt and Road' Reaches Europe

Shannon Tiezzi

 Chinese Premier Li Keqiang hosted 16 European leaders in Suhzou on Tuesday and Wednesday, for thefourth China-Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) summit. The format, which held its first summit in 2012 in Warsaw, Poland, brings together leaders from China and 16 Central and Eastern European states: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

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