The goal of Putin is to disrupt gas transit to EU via Ukraine in winter, placing the blame on Ukraine, and resume Southern Stream construction, Mykhailo Honchar, head of Strategy XXI center, said, Novy Region reports Sept. 30.
“Russia has not backtracked on its plans to stage the third gas crisis. It does everything to disrupt gas pumping in winter and blame Ukraine for it. This, Russians hope, will force EU to use the Northern Stream to full capacity and agree to resume the construction of the Southern Stream,” the expert says.
The agreements reached Sept. 26 in Berlin will only play into Russia’s hands and help torpedo the transit in winter via Ukraine as the gas supplies to Ukraine are not specified as to the time and place, he says.
By shifting gas supplies to the Northern Stream and accusing Ukraine of pilfering gas and stalling the transit, the Russians will continue to pressure EU into agreeing to resume the construction of the Southern Stream, Honchar claims.
The EU commission is close to succumbing to the Russian pressure, he says.
“The question is ‘What is going on in the Commission?’ which does not resort to all available leverage. I do not mean the interests of Ukraine, I mean the interests of Europe. It all boils down either to a total chaos or corruption,” the expert claims.