The Natural Gas, and the cynicism of the politicians and the commentators

Cynicism is the word that comes to my mind, with regards to the recent gas problems in Bulgaria.
Both the opposition politicians, which is not surprising, but to my astonishment the political commentators as well, have shown their complete ignorance on the topic.
If one reads the Bulgarian media, he or she may think that Bulgaria is an oil state, which has the largest reserves of natural gas – there are so many “experts” on that topic, ranging from former firefighter and current mayor of Sofia Boiko Borissov, and ending with the leader of the ultra-right “Ataka” party, Volen Siderov.

And at the same time there are certain things, which people and companies should have done, but they still don’t do it, and complain.

Here are some of the most commonly spread ideas one can find in the Bulgarian media:
– Bulgaria should sue Ukraine and Russia;
– Bulgaria should build better crisis gas reservoirs;
– Bulgaria should re-start its old nuclear power reactor(s);
– Bulgaria should find an alternative pipe line to ensure its gas needs;
– the government should resign immediately for not providing adequate defense mechanisms;
– etc.

At the same time, some of these critics are the same ones, who criticized that very same government, and the President, for visiting the countries-producers of natural gas, like Turkmenistan, Qatar, and others, and reaching agreements to get gas, should the pipelines are built. The Nabucco project is the only viable alternative to the Russian gas, but the Bulgarian politicians and commentators keep on criticizing the government for reaching deals on it. Yet, Bulgaria actually is a small country, which only has that many opportunities to participate in such projects, and one of them, perhaps the biggest, is that through its territories the pipelines can reach the rest of Europe, which are interested in obtaining gas and oil from non-Russian sources.

So, to conclude: the problems between Russia and Ukraine have not started a week ago, and will not end today. I am sure that next year the two countries will be blaming each other again. What Bulgaria, and more importantly – the European Union – could do, is to speed up the Nabucco project, and build the South Stream, as well as ensure terminals for liquefied gas from Algeria, Qatar, others, in Greece, Italy, which then can be transported to the rest of Europe. This should be done not to “punish” Gazprom, but just as a normal measure by any country which cares. And since there is not a single country that can fund such projects, the European Union should take the initiative.

As for our own, Bulgarian-made, politicians and commentators, I’d like kindly to ask you to take a deep breath, step back, and try to look at the issue with some vision, not just for your own, daily usage.
The longer you continue with your old behavior, the longer you prove you are not a true European politician or commentator. And, please, do not misunderstand me – there are a lot of European politicians and commentators, who are sharing your views; this doesn’t make them any better! In other words, the fact that someone else is talking rubbish, does not make your stupid words any wiser.



    SOFIA, January 9 (BTA). The government has appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivailo Kalfin to chair the organizing committee that will coordinate the preparations for the international summit on “Natural Gas for Europe: Security and Partnership”, the government information service said. The forum will be held in Sofia on April 24-25. A plan for the preparations was approved on Thursday.

    The organizing committee includes deputy ministers of the interior and the environment, the executive director of the Bulgarian Energy Holding, representatives of the prime minister’s office, the chef de cabinet of Kalfin’s political office, and the President’s secretary for foreign policy. The organizing committee’s coordinator is Peter Popchev, ambassador-at-large at the Foreign Ministry.

    The initiative for the summit is the result of two-year intensive dialogue between the President, the prime minister and the foreign minister on the one hand, and the state leaders of the countries of the Caspian region and Central Asia on the other. The forum will be held at the invitation of President Georgi Purvanov.

    The participants comprise state and government leaders of the countries of South Eastern Europe, of the Black Sea region, including Russia as a major supplier of energy sources to Europe, of the Caucasus as producers and transit countries, gas-producing countries of Central Asia and the Middle East, partners in the EU, representatives of the European Commission, the United States and multilaterals.

    The summit aims to engage the key energy partners of the EU in a dialogue about the EU’s approach to energy security. The economic and political context of the EU’s growing needs for natural gas will be discussed, the Council of Ministers said.

    Considerable attention will be paid to the market, regulatory and technological aspects of gas transmission to consumers in the EU and Southeast Europe. Topical gas projects along the South Gas Corridor and their contribution to Europe’s energy and economic security will also be on the agenda, the government information service said.

    Bilateral and multilateral consultations can be held during the forum. A final declaration will be adopted.

Bulgarian central heating system is basically in collapse, as people don’t pay their heating. If you wonder how is it possible – it is possible. The Bulgarian legal system sucks, and the chances of the Central Heating to obtain court orders for people to pay their dues, are very low. I will have to blog about our legal system, in order for people to understand how is it possible that criminals are still at large, mobsters are not sentenced, and the European Union is punishing the country for lack of proper judicial system.

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2 Responses to The Natural Gas, and the cynicism of the politicians and the commentators

  1. Name says:

    Uzbeki’s gas will be sold to Russia only.

    The gas from Turkmenistan needs to travel over a russian territory so it`s useless.

    Could you answer why Bulgaria is the only country in EU without alternative gas source (how Ivan Kostov is blamed again for this – heard it today from Stanishev), why R. Ovcharov broke the old and better deal with Gazprom to sign a new and worse one, etc…

    (comment edited by Veni: I don’t encourage anonymous false comments, therefore your comment was edited. If you state something, you should at least have the courage to put your name here)

    • Actually you are not right. Check this out about Nabucco.
      As for the Uzbekistan – read more news before having an opinion, based on publications in the… Bulgarian media, again.
      And your last question – I am not sure if Bulgaria is the only country in the EU without alternative gas source. Can you point to some reliable source about it? As far as I know, Bulgaria has signed deals with Gazprom long time before the current government, and has not made any moves towards ensuring international alliance for building of alternative pipelines. You probably should understand that Bulgaria is a tiny market to be able to raise the funds ($$ Billions) for building a pipeline? Also, when you say the new deal is worse than the others, do you have any data to prove your point, or it is again publication in some local media?

      I believe the Bulgarian President is organizing a large energy summit in Sofia later this year, to address these issues. It is interesting, indeed, that the current President is doing that, and not the previous ones, who should have been informed that Bulgaria needs some diversification of its fuels…

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