Some Europeans may be tempted to celebrate Russia’s recent decision to abandon South Stream, a Black Sea pipeline, conceived to connect Russian gas to centralEurope by way of Bulgaria. Yet, from the U.S. perspective, the Europeans have neither the time, money, nor luxury for schadenfreude.
To be sure, the cancellation is momentous. South Stream was Putin’s way of strengthening his grip on eastern European consumers, bypassing Ukraine, and undermining the EU-sponsored Nabucco pipeline, an avowed EU effort to reduce reliance on Russian gas. Both projects are shelved, for now.
But the very fact of Europe’s vulnerability to Putin’s pipeline gambit illustrates the precariousness of Europe’s energy security and the certainty that future tyrants, if not Putin himself, will turn again to energy as their best lever for manipulating Europe. If Europe fails to face up to the realities of decades of ill-conceived EU energy policy, the wolf will soon be back at the door.
Read the full article on Forbes here.