The agreements concluded by Putin, Chirac and Merkel in Paris will show a considerable influence on the global energy policy. The new European “axis of energy” has become a response to Washington’s aspiration to dominate the whole world. Apparently, Russia’s European preferences will inspire the White House to launch a massive anti-Russian PR campaign.
US politicians have become famous for their passion for the notion of axis. It has become a tradition for each US president to create his own axis of something: axis of evil, axis of cooperation, friendship, etc. The latest axis was created without Washington’s participation. The Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis appeared in Europe last week. It can be interpreted as a link of international politics run by three superpowers – Russia, France and Germany.
To all appearance, the agreements achieved in France will influence the world energy policies. President Putin said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel raised a question about giving the European orientation to Russia’s giant Shtokman gas field. “I can say that Gazprom is considering the opportunity now. The decision will be made shortly,” President Putin said.
The Shtokman gas field is one of the largest gas deposits in the world. Its reserves make up 3.2 trillion cubic meters and 31 million tons of gas condensate. It is possible to extract about 70 billion cubic meters a year, which means that the field reserves may last for 50 or even 70 years. It was previously believed that liquefied gas would be delivered to the USA, where Gazprom initially planned to develop one-tenth of the US market and subsequently enlarge its share to 20 percent.
Putin’s statement is not just an official phrase to summarize the results of the talks. It marks the change of the development strategy. The success of the talks can be explained with mutual economic interests and close political views. It is an open secret that Russia, France and Germany stand against the establishment of the unipolar world structure. The three countries share similar positions regarding the events in the Middle East and Iran too. To crown it all, special relations with Russia can bring the leading place for France and Germany in Europe.
Russia is developing relations with Old Europe against the background of USA’s concerns with Moscow’s home and foreign policies. There are monstrous regimes in the world that can continue with their evil deeds for a long time, making many democratic countries crawl in front of them just because they need to have oil and gas for their living.
Russia is not interested in selling its energy sources only. The country is interested in entering European markets, gaining access to up-to-date technologies and participating in European enterprises. It is worthy of note that Russia has recently acquired five percent of stocks of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS). This corporation depends on the deliveries of Russian-made titanium.
Russia’s integration in the European economy on the base of competitive advantages raises concerns with US-oriented European government. The US administration will most likely stir up another international scandal in Europe, dwell upon the subject of energy blackmail, or deprive the EADS concern of its orders in the United States.
The European axis (Paris-Berlin-Moscow) is a normal reaction of experienced politicians to USA’s hegemony. The USA has become a defense machine making its way to global reign. The agreements in France show that “Old Europe” approaches Russia as an independent and attractive center of power.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov