Russia’s state-run gas monopoly Gazprom has offered €2bn to buy DEPA, Greece’s state owned gas company. The sum vastly exceeds DEPA’s real value, but the deal would bring Russia closer to a monopoly in the Greek energy market.
The 65% government-owned DEPA was offered for sale as an asset to be disposed of thanks to Greece’s debt ‘problems’ Two other Russian giants, Sintez company and Azerbaijan’s Socar, are also bidding.
The Gazprom offer worries Washington, and Moscow sources say the White House has called on the Greek government not to take the Gazprom offer.As The Slog has maintained from the start of the Greek fiasco, US influence and energy considerations are as central to the issue as is the madness in Berlin-am-Brussels.
But the Russian gas company’s action won’t be welcomed by the European Union either, because if Gazprom buys DEPA, then it will become a serious competitor in European gas projects.
However, in geopolitical energy terms, America will be the big loser. Greece, Cyprus and Israel are planning to supply gas from Israeli deposits and future gas fields being developed off Cyprus. This is an American-backed project, but if Gazprom secures DEPA, it would shut out such supplies from the Greek market.
As The Slog reported two days ago, Germany too has been trying to scupper the EastMed triad. The Russian move now raises the spectre of what might happen globally if Berlin turned east to become friendlier with Moscow.
As I asked yesterday, does Cameron really understand the politics of the EU on every dimension?