GREEK CRISIS: Russian geopolitics in play

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?

Stay tuned.


36 thoughts on “GREEK CRISIS: Russian geopolitics in play

  1. The reason here is that if Gazprom buys DEPA, then it will become a serious competitor in European gas projects.
    At present, Europe and Israel are planning to supply gas from Israeli deposits and future gas fields that are now being developed off Cyprus. Gas from these deposits will be supplied through Greece. If Gazprom buys the Greek company, this will guarantee not only its presence but also practical control over the Greek gas supply network and create a monopoly there. Most likely, the EU will hardly agree with such a deal and will do its best to prevent it from happening.

    More than 6,000 German companies are doing business in Russia. According to official statistics, Russian-German trade reached 54. 6 billion U.S. dollars in the first nine months of 2012, up 5.6 percent compared to that of 2011.


  2. O/T, it was announced on US radio station NPR today that striking Greek metro workers were threatened with prison unless they returned to work. Wouldn’t this be contravening basic EU principles of “human rights” etc. ? Any mention in other media sources?


  3. These workers (mostly Syriza Backers) were given gurantees in the last tranche of payments to the select by the ECB (i.e. Gurantee monthly wages between 2100-3000 Euro per month. Now this deal is being taken away from them from ND so they are like the rest of Greeks are seeing the treasounous actions of the Elite Politicos of Greece.


  4. The Karamanlis Govt was taken down by the Americans and the City of London and their Proxy puppets Jeffrey Papandreou/papacostantidis etc etc were put in when he tried to align Greece with Russia and Germany. Things are very different these days. Especially with the Papandreou clan falsely cooking the books showing Greece as being far worse off than it actually was.

    Thats right they caused the Bonds to go from 4.5 to infinity and beyond….

    Was this to just plainly make money? Destabalise the Euro? Used as a proxy to attack the Euro? has Germany realised this and is now outing them? How convenient. but what goes around comes around.

    Has the the lagarde list which names names backfired? The Elite families of Greece now have their willies in the wind for all to see, and the cover ups are becoming much difficult, not impossible but very difficult, but IMO they are having a difficult time to rule without outside dictates.

    Do they realise that alignment with Germany/Russia is key otherwise they will be taken for what they’ve got?


  5. If the possibility of huge Israeli energy discoveries really pans out, and if the technical and resource problems connected with them can actually be solved, the US-Israeli relationship will also change. Some of this may already be happening. Recently re-elected Prime Minister Netanyahu’s evident lack of worry when it comes to crossing President Obama may reflect his belief that Israel has some new cards to play. An energy-rich Israel with a lot of friends and suitors is going to be less dependent on the US than it has been — and it is also going to be a more valuable ally.
    Potentially, the energy revolution and the change in Israel’s outlook together with her technical partnership with Putin’s Russia has more geopolitical implications than the Arab Spring.


  6. I haven’t a clue what the speaker is talking about, but watching the man and women behind him, perhaps it is time to ban politicians from having cell phones and computers in Parliament or wherever this is.


  7. The Greater Israel project came under threat after the death of the US Ambassador to Libya.This project is to encompass Libya,Tunisia,Egypt,Lebanon and Syria.This would hand huge wealth to the right people in Israel and increase their power base,whilst bisexual Obama ignores Israel.I know its only thinking ,yet Russian boats,ships and cruise ships mill about this area – sightseeing?


  8. It would be, on the face of it, one of the most amazing reverses of the last 2 centuries. However the insidious influence of the former communist ‘Ostis’ in Germany and the ‘new’ communists in Russia make an interesting mix. Perhaps Frau Merkel likes a bit of rough? The new communists have most of the old stuff but re-named, and much more open corruption and bling than was previously allowed in the old soviet.


  9. Very interesting speech. Bet he’s as popular as a fart in a very enclosed space. BUT he speaks a lot of truth as far as I can tell. He certainly believes what he’s saying.
    The behaviour of the president or whoever it is behind him is staggeringly ignorant.


  10. He’s talking about the hypocrisy of funding wars in various countries to get rid of encumbent govt’s and replacing them with radical Islamic ones while fighting radical Islamist ones at home.


  11. My collegue Rupert Blanketstein of Goldman saxchs was telling me over lunch drinks that the economy was in for a bad way recently, but the US is doing ok, I’ll be picking some stox after lunch.


  12. It would be the same orders you would be given if you were going to war. In the name of national interest your freedom to strike can be thus revoked.
    Simple and so democratic(!)


  13. Greece has become German territory as the Germans decide about our loans , our banks , our taxes and our politics too . Germans therefore will decide who will buy DEPA .In the case that they chose the Russians then which russian company will be chosen that will be decided by Putin .Samaras and the rest of his circus is purely decorative , something like cheap ornaments , knickknacks ,bagatelle or as we say in greek bihlibidia.


  14. That’s unbelievable that there are still politicians that are prepared to say such things with such passion in national parliaments. I thought those sort of pols were just a myth.


  15. I think the Brits, and the Austrians, around or shortly after Castlereagh’s time agreed on only one thing. Keep the Ruskies out of the Eastern Med. The French sort of joined in.The geography has not changed. Only the actors. We are, regrettably, German territory.


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