How were your winter holidays? Mine were pretty cold. No, don’t understand me wrong – it wasn’t because of the lack of love, it was all about gas. Because somehow someone sometime in the beginning of january said: ‘Okay, cut their supplies then!’. Oh, it wasn’t ’someone’ – it was the Russian Prime-minister Vladimir Putin.
And then the big winter started. Hundreds of thousands of people freezing at their homes – in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, etc. The reason – stopped gas supplies from Russia through Ukraine to their countries. The real reason – the lack of good policy of the EU countries on energy matters.
Well, the EU energy policy could be good enough on paper but it’s not quite working yet. And the problem is not that the strategy itself was proposed in the early 2007. The problem is that there is no common voice on the alternative gas supplies yet. The Nabucco project is going too slow and there are still many things to be decided. So this sentences countries like Bulgaria and Romania to become prisoners of Russian supplies.
‘Europe currently gets a quarter of its gas from Russia, with 80 percent of it coming through Ukraine. Some countries, like Bulgaria, are almost entirely dependent on the Russian energy behemoth Gazprom for their gas. Thus, tens of thousands of Bulgarians were left shivering in the winter cold after the supply going through the Ukraine was cut early in January.’ That statement in the business portal Eurasia.net would have just terrified me if I weren’t Bulgarian and I hadn’t suffered it myself.
In the last few days the problem arose once again - the Ukraine’s national energy company Naftogaz announced last Thursday it might face problems paying for natural gas supplied by Russia’s Gazprom as debts of Ukrainian utility companies grow. (information from the Russian news agency RIA Novosti). This means another gas crisis is comming. Sounds bad. And it will get worse and worse - and probably colder and colder.
So this is what we need: strong voice of the MPs that will find more ways to get out of the Russian dependance And this time they’d be ready to act much faster. Because the elections are comming and we wouldn’t like to wait if they can’t provide us the safety we need.
P.S. During the cold nights of January a favourite song of mine was very actual - Robbie Williams’ ‘Let Love Be Your Energy’. Since I know Russia and Ukraine don’t love each other very much… Well, thank God I’m still in love.
* The Graphics are translated from Bulgarian and taken from Capital Weekly who quoted Financial Times.