Saturday, June 20, 2015

Russian Oil & The Republic of Macedonia

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares. 
A Russian oil pipeline & VMRO falling? By K.K.W

You don't have to be an energy expert to know that every country, its cities and economy depend on it. And when it comes to oil & natural gas the U.S may not care for the influence on Western Europe from Russia. And, that the Republic of Macedonia stands to gain a great deal financially from part of a Russian pipeline through their country. "...several countries in southeast Europe, including Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary and to some extent Austria, remain enthusiastic about obtaining a direct feed of Russian gas through the South Stream pipeline, which Gazprom proposes to build across the Black Sea. They think the pipeline would reduce risk of cutoffs by bypassing Ukraine, while most other European countries, plus Brussels, lean against it because it would largely remove a key card that Kiev has in its duel with Russia." [1]
Photo by Ognen Teofilovski. 
However, the "South Stream" pipeline project was abandoned in December [because of an EU rule that forbids one entity from owning the pipeline & the gas it carries through EU territory] after which, "Turkish Stream" was conceived. And seeing no alternative, Moscow has agreed to relinquish its shares in the pipeline given that Gazprom is a state owned company. 

The pipeline would go through Turkey, the Balkan's [The Republic of Macedonia & Serbia], possibly Greece then under the Adriatic sea to Italy. Aside from avoiding further disruptions from Ukraine, given the current situation & those in the near future, the pipeline would be yet another stable source of energy to Europe. The current leaders of Macedonia [especially Gruevski, who is on record as such] are against sanctions imposed on Russia, and in favor of the "Turkish Stream" pipeline. The pro-western opposition in Macedonia clearly feels otherwise, and most recently released recordings [& transcripts] of mass- illegal wiring-tapping by Gruevski's government. 

Sergei Lavrov. Photo courtesy of Business Insider. 
The recordings [giving evidence of murder cover-up, bribes, etc] led to major protest's, international intention & social media backlash. All of this causing Russia to wonder about the situation in the country, and some to speculate that outside forces may have helped in causing all this. Russian news service Tass, quoted Sergei Lavrov as saying "the Macedonian events are blatantly controlled from the outside". [2]  Vladimir Choizhov, Russia's ambassador to the EU, agreed; "I don't have any hard-line facts, but its a logical suspicion" [3], he told Bloomberg TV. 
"Well this is a result of the fact that the opposition leader was served these transcripts by foreign intelligence services and he admitted that". [4] "What is very interesting is that this unrest, the latest terrorist attack took place on May, 9 - precisely at the time when the Macedonian PM was only one of the few European leaders in Moscow attending the Victory Day parade". [5] 

Photo by Ognen Teofilovski.

The West is pushing for its own pipeline, TANAP [ shipping gas from Azerbaijan & maybe Turkmenistan as well] which would not only eliminate Ukraine from the equation, but Russian gas into south eastern Europe, and reduce their exporting into western Europe as well. If "Turkish Stream" is implemented and goes through The Republic of Macedonia, it could be a serious catalyst for the economy, leading the country to a new era. And provided the profits are used wisely, many of the country's problem's could be greatly reduced. 

Partisan Blvd, Skopje [The Republic of Macedonia].
Photo by K.K.W
If you would like to know more, go to:, or:

1 - N.Y, Times, David Buchan. A senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. 

2-3 from the article Macedonia caught in East -West pipeline tug-of war, by Andy Tully of 

4-5 Srdja Trifkovic, from his interview with

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