The news about the visit of the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to Qatar was quite predictable – already in May of this year, there were agreements on reciprocal trade between the two countries.
The Ukraine, the “Breadbasket of Europe”, supplies grain to Qatar in exchange for liquefied natural gas. Turkey, from which the transit of natural gas through the Bosporus depends, had temporary slowed down the conclusion of business.
Given the high-level meeting in Doha, these issues have been probably resolved now. This business could significantly and sustainably change the situation in the European gas market in the near future. Right now it’s yet about the matter that Ukraine gets natural gas after the construction of a regasification terminal in Odessa for the domestic consumption.
In this way, the Ukraine becomes much more independent of Gazprom (current figures, such as the Ukrainian import from Russia varies, are to find at RT). But real problems for Russia will yet arise a little bit later.
The old and fragile, but still pretty good running gas transmission system of Ukraine, is aimed at the supply of natural gas to Europe – in the sense of: to the West – and this infrastructure is the delicacy that the Emir has simply to target. And one can hardly doubt that the second stage of relations between Ukraine and Qatar will include agreements about these pipelines.
If Qatar gets into this network with its natural gas, Doha gets access to the natural gas pipelines of Eastern Europe and even to Germany.
The policy of dumping prices promises Qatar a further increase of its market share in Europe – at it is clear at whose expense this will happen. It goes without saying that Germany and the rest of Europe will use the lower price of natural gas from Qatar to put pressure on Gazprom.Under such conditions, the construction of the “South Stream” pipeline becomes problematic.
Even if Russia manages to fill the additional capacity with its natural gas, it collides at the other end of the pipeline with the EU Energy Charter, which stipulates that the exporter of the raw material and the owner of the transport systems are different entities, respectively that the possession of the tubes gets diversified and it also collides with competing natural gas from Qatar.
Through Ukraine, the infrastructure for the large LNG carriers of Qatar would be much shorter than up to the ports of Western Europe.
More rides and cheaper natural gas from North Dome (South Pars). When the “South Stream” project should be in the black in this way, is written in the stars.
Even more advantageous is Turkey as a third, quiet party for Qatar in this trading. Currently, Turkey yet obtains natural gas from Iran and Transcaucasia.
By the OK to the transport of the Qatari natural gas through the Straits, Qatar is able to also throw its natural gas on the Turkish market and thereby compete with the Iranian offer. The difficult situation of Iran because of the economic blockade restricts its freedom of action essential in a price war against the Emir (Qatar).
In this situation, the victory in the war about Syria becomes immensely important for Al Thani. By his influence in the Doha-assembled “sole legitimate Syrian government” he should have indirectly a say on Syrian territory and could block the establishment of the Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline (“Islamic Stream”), which should transport de facto natural gas from the same occurrence of South Pars that is territorial shared between Iran and Qatar.
The same applies to the “Arab Natural Gas Pipeline” from Egypt to Baniyas. Respectively, the Emir could nail down relevant interests in these projects. In addition, there is also the variant of the construction of an own, purely Qatari pipeline, which thus would make the Strait of Hormuz irrelevant for Qatar.
So it is really no question, why the Emir of Qatar wants to destroy Syria – he would be the big winner in each of these variants.
By the construction of the “North Stream”, the strategists of Gazprom, probably including Gerhard Schröder (former Chancellor of Germany), have placed no emphasis on the fact that the Ukraine will try to squirm free of the occurred role as loser with the barely needed role of a transit country, and that this seems to succeed so elegantly – while it is catastrophic for Gazprom, of course.
One defeat after another for this – in the truest sense of the word – state-supporting concern.