M. Gonchar. Victory of gazocracy over democracy or on Russian flows of European gas corruption

Articles Mykhailo Gonchar

We are glad to present to your attention an article about Russian gas business in Europe. The original was published in Ukrainian weekly Dzerkalo tyzhnia.  Edited by Mykhailo Gonchar, Andrii Chubyk, Maksim Alinov


European Union eventually dared to sanctions against Russia. After much hesitation, reflection and discussion. Trigger was the incident with downing a passenger plane over Ukraine by Russian "specialists". However, sanctions are selective and do not affect fully the backbone of the Russian economy - oil and gas sector. In addition, it has been stated that if the sanctions prejudice the EU, they could be reviewed. What is behind? – another effort to play with Russia by giving it one more warning or this is the result of the system countermeasure of pro-Russian lobby multiplied by the impacts of opaque financial flows generated from the export of Russian hydrocarbons in silence of European banking institutions.


"Flexible" conscience of Europe

"Already for several decades enterprises of the Russian Federation have been supplying oil and gas to the European energy markets daily on a purely economic basis... These supplies to the EU have never been a political tool. At the time of the "Cold War" in 1970-1980's everything has been operating in the same way as in recent weeks ... So in agreement with almost all members of the European Union I called against adding oil and gas to the list of sanctions,"- this statement of the European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger in an interview for the Ukrainian edition of the Deutsche Welle is an indicator of the victory: of gazocracyàlarusse over the European democracy, of prices over the values, of unscrupulousness over principles. Just a month ago, the European Commissioner stated that "sanctions on oil and gas should be at the very end of the list of sanctions against Russia." It seems that now it is clear what has been worked out in Brussels since the beginning of the discussion on the sanctions issues. First, they have been working to place the energy sanctions at the end of the list, and afterwards to drop them out of the list at all.

Below there are several figures just to give an idea of the scale of the energy business Russia – EU, which will avoid sanctions. Russian energy exports to the EU according to the official document "Energy Dialogue EU – Russia: The Thirteenth Progress Report. 17 January 2014” for the year 2013 were as follows:

- 159.3 mln tons of oil;

- 100 mln tons of oil products;

- 139 bln cubic meters of natural gas.

According to the Russian Federal Customs Service, in 2012 energy products exports accounted for 69.8% of total revenues of Russian exports in general - $ 366 bln of the total $ 524.7 bln. Oil exports gave $ 180 bln, oil products - $ 100 bln, natural gas - $ 63 bln. Based on these data, we may conclude that the engine of the Russian aggression will be working further in the future, since 70% of Russian exports revenues can be considered now as a budget line protected from sanctions.

On July 25, 2014, in one of the famous Moscow offices at the Nametkina Street, glasses of famous Moselle wine Kröver Nacktarsch were raised for the health of an individual born in Swabia, and other German friends of the Russian gas monopoly. Pan-European natural gas and derivative cash flows have been saved! The pro-Kremlin analysts concluded: sanctions create obstacles, but they are not life-threatening, as long as they do not effect the oil and gas sector.

During recent weeks, such a scenario appeared to be more and more likely. As soon as after the meeting of the Heads of the EU foreign policy ministries on July 22, 2014, the Euractiv publication reported that sanctions in the energy sector, and especially in the natural gas one, are very unlikely. European diplomats justified this position with the fact that these sanctions could lead to the economic collapse in some of the EU countries and will be an act of suicide for the EU, what is not desirable also for Ukraine.

But such logic is open to heavy criticism, because it is the Russian policy of price escalation for natural gas exported to the European Union that is responsible for their economies’ continuing stagnation. Here is just one figure for comparison. In 2013, the average wholesale price of natural gas at the American Henry Hub was 133.1 USD per thousand cubic meters, while at the NCG hub in Germany - 387.7 USD per thousand cubic meters. The difference is almost threefold. Before 2005, the situation at the natural gas markets of the USA and Europe was just the opposite. Natural gas prices in the USA were always higher than in Europe. The result the fundamental changes in market trends is the rapid reindustrialization in the United States, and industrial decline in the EU.

Among the reasons behind such situation is the focus on Russia as a source of energy, which, however, is not cheap. This gradually leads to a weird situation when the tail wags the dog, that is Russian energy resources export to Europe defines European political and economic orientations. It is obvious that such a situation is possible only in the circumstances when there are some individuals in Europe who benefit from it and who earn well on the expensive Russian gas, stressing on the importance of cooperation with Moscow.

Let us leave on the conscience of the European Commissioner his statement that Russian supplies of natural gas and oil to the EU have never been a political tool. As for the Old Europe it is true, but the European Commissioner can't help butseethat these supplies turned into a political tool against a number of countries long ago, and it is only a question of time when they will become a political tool against the EU.

We will mention some of the most typical cases when the Russian Federation used energy resources and infrastructure as a tool to influence other countries:

- rejected the oil transit through Latvia since 1 January 2003 as an act of retaliation for alleged Russian minority discrimination;

- limiteddeliveriesofnatural gas to Belarus in winter 2004 and 2006 to force the transfer of Belarusian GTS to Russian "Gazprom";

- cut off natural gas supplies to Ukraineand the EU in winter 2006 and 2009;

- stopped oil supply to Lithuania since July 2006 as an act of retaliation for the "wrong" privatization of the Mažeikiai refinery (to Polish rather than Russian company);

- blocked the transit of Kazakh oil to Lithuania in 2006 to prevent a competitor from participating in the privatization of the Mažeikiai refinery;

- organized energy blockade of Georgia in the winter of 2006;

- restricted oil supplies to the Czech Republic in July 2008 as a preventive "stimulus" to abandon the deployment of American air defense on its territory.

As we can see, the list of “energy blackmail” victims includes EU members - the Czech Republic and the Baltic countries. If Brussels believes that Russia uses energy as an instrument of political and economic influence only against non-EU countries, it either does not understand what Russia and its energy policy is, or have a "flexible" conscience. This trait of European politicians and public officials was pinpointed by one creative Ukrainian in his commentary on Facebook after yet another message of European "concern" with tragic losses of human lives that happened when terrorists shot down the military transport aircraft An-26 on July 14, 2014 . This "flexibility" did not change significantly even after the death of several hundred EU citizens in the July 17th aircraft accident caused by Russian "experts - anti-aircraft gunners" in Eastern Ukraine. Some European countries opposed to the bitter end to the third package of sanctions against the aggressor country: France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia and the current EU Presidency holder Italy.

It's no secret that the majority of these countries are linked to Russia by direct gas relations or financial flows generated inter alia by the export of Russian gas. Therefore, despite Russia's violation of the fundamental rights and democratic values, which European politicians visiting Kyiv love so much to talk about, even in the recent days and weeks the actual lobbying for Putin and company was continuing.

Shooting down the civilian Boeing has become a kind of Rubicon in Western attitudes to the Kremlin, it has increased the number of supporters of firm approaches to Putin. But it seems that for many European politicians from big and small EU countries financial dividends from Russian projects are still more important.

A whole constellation of Kremlin supporters ensures that the EU will continue to play a weird role of a global pacifist limiting itself to expressions of concern and regular warnings about possible deepening and expansion of the sanctions regime.

Against this background, the artificiality of the EU helplessness is seen especially clearly: while the constructive solution requires consensus of all countries, just one vote of a politician with a pre-adjusted "flexible" conscience is sufficient to block it. It is especially effective if that politician represents a significant EU country. It is well known that the leading role within the EU plays the German-French tandem. The role of Germany and France in the "settlement" of the Georgian-Russian conflict (this name was given to the 5-day Russian war against Georgia) is well known. The result is also well known: Georgia lost part of its territory. In the same 2008, in April, Germany and France blocked the granting of the Membership Action Plan on NATO Membership for Georgia and Ukraine at the summit in Bucharest. Nowadays these countries stick to the same position. In the German-French tandem the leading role belongs to Berlin, which has a decisive influence on the EU policy.

Back in 1995, at the meeting in Colorado Springs (USA) of the world leaders who brought to an end the Cold War, Margaret Thatcher prophetically remarked: "[Germany] national character is to dominate. ... You have not anchored Germany to Europe; you have anchored Europe to a newly dominant, unified Germany."

Left to right, G.H. Oettinger, A. Miller, D. Medvedev, G. Schroeder, M. Warnig

Moscow-Berlin-Zurich-EU: axis of gas corruption?

What causes the phenomenon that Germany actually "plays" for the Kremlin? One of the fundamental reasons is Russian energy. Germany is the largest importer of Russian gas, besides it imports significant volumes of oil and oil products (see the schedule below).


Commodity item


FRG-RF goods traffic


Ration, 2013

Change, 2013/2012















21 490

18 077




Natural gas including LFG

10 596

11 201




Oil products

3 790

4 959





1 031




Total goods traffic FRG-RF


80 868

76 525




How does energy trade work? Oil, oil products, coal are the stock commodities. Natural gas is mostly sold under long-term contracts, the meaning of which is hidden behind commercial confidentiality and which were signed by Gazprom at different times with different German companies, starting from 1973. In recent years it has been also possible to purchase gas at a hub, e.g. in Austria.

Gazprom Export, which is a 100 % subsidiary of OAO Gazprom, sells natural gas in Germany. Besides selling gas to German partner companies, Gazprom Export does business with GAZPROM Germania GmbH, which is 100% owned by Gazprom Export. In turn, GAZPROM Germania GmbH is the owner of shares in different companies that are registered in different European countries (see picture 1).

In its statutory activities, GAZPROM Germania GmbH (and not only it), in addition to gas issues, is also involved in the promotion of "positive" image of Russia and its companies in Europe, including sports, arts and culture. In turn, this can be used as a "flexible" funding mechanism for actions involving corruption practices by nature, but not from the legal viewpoint at the request and for the benefit of certain influential personalities.

Germany takes 12th place in the world in the corruption perception rating (according to the statistics of Transparency International for 2013). Although the country signed the UN Convention against Corruption, which requires much more stringent rules of definition and prosecution for corruption, back in 2003, it has not been ratified yet.

A of today, the following drawbacks have been noted in the German anti-corruption legislation: a weak performance in the context of fraud during the electoral process, limited influence on the actions of lobby groups and politicians, unresolved issue of employment in the private sector of politicians after leaving the service in government. A striking example is the former German Chancellor G. Schroeder, whose joining the Gazprom’s "Nord Stream" project still raises many questions, the same as the magnificent celebration of his 70th anniversary in Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg on April 28, 2014. All this led to very ambiguous reaction in the European media.

Waiting for Putin. Matthias Warning and G. Schroeder before the entrance to Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg

Participation of certain officials and party leaders in the event showed the scale of communications of transnational gazocracy in the European political establishment.

According to estimates of Friedrich Schneider, Austrian professor of economics at the Linz University, the amount of losses inflicted on Germany by corruption could be as high as 250 billion euros! The contribution of gas corruption is not known for sure, but it is clear that it is quite significant. Sometimes, it seems that the whole world greed has been gathered in Germany.

But let’s go back to GAZPROM Germania GmbH. Any dubious and non-transparent energy trade schemes in Europe could hardly have been implemented without offshore units. Some EU countries such as the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and especially Switzerland as a non-EU country, traditionally are the places of activity of sometimes controversial business groups that gained powerful transnational capital on opaque hydrocarbons trading schemes, mostly likely based on corrupt grounds with the protection of Eurasian authoritarian and kleptocratic regimes.

Specific companies that are cloned in Swiss cantons with a view of obtaining superprofits, are the tools that shape the respective influences, perhaps bringing them to a personal level through appropriate incentive mechanisms with the guarantee of complete anonymity under the total collective responsibility. Switzerland seems to be most attractive to Gazprom. In general, this country can be called the epicenter of financial activity of Gazprom, of its numerous affiliated companies and of course of Gazprombank through its subsidiary Gazprombank (Schweiz) AG. The sympathy to this alpine country passed on to its subsidiary unit GAZPROM Germania GmbH, which in turn passed it to Gazprom (Schweiz) AG.

The trade of natural gas of Central Asian origin is realized through GAZPROM (Schweiz) AG in Austria, Italy and Serbia. The bank’s and company’s offices are situated in Zurich at a 4-km distance (GAZPROM (Schweiz) AG, Pelikanplatz 15, 8001 Zürich and Gazprombank (Schweiz) AG, Zollikerstrasse 183, 8008 Zürich (see picture 1).


Picture 1. Gazprom and its subsiduaries.

According to the official data, in 2013 GAZPROM Germania GmbH's revenue came to 13.7 bln euro, the profit came to 287 million euro, which is 17% more than in 2012. The lion’s share of incomes was due to Gazprom (Schweiz) AG. In 2013, 33.8 bcm of natural gas of Central Asian and Azeri origin purchased in the states of that region was sold in Europe through the company. Revenue came to US $ 9.8 bln. or 7.3 bln euro, the net profit сame to US $44.6 mln. That is to say that the Swiss subsidiary makes more that 53% of income for the German subsidiary of Gazprom Export. (Making simple calculation, an average price of gas sale was just US $289.9 per 1000 cubic meters).

In 2011, Gazprom (Schweiz) AG expanded and adjusting its activities. On instructions from Gazprom Export it signed contracts for natural gas purchase from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, becoming the monopoly owner and administrator of all Central Asian gas of Gazprom Group.

It is remarkable that the European Commission no longer requires from Russia to ensure the freedom of natural gas transit from Central Asia to Europe that Moscow is supposed to ensure given its membership in the WTO. What would be the point?, Gas from Central Asia comes to the EU through the elegant "Swiss scheme", which allows taking into account of all interests (both overt and hidden), as happened in the case of RosUkrEnergo.

It is interesting to note that it was in 2011 when such well-known today persons as Elena Burmistrova (the current head of Gazprom Export) and Matthias Warnig (Managing Director of "Nord Stream AG") entered the administrative board of Gazprom (Schweiz) AG.

The authorized capital of Gazprom (Schweiz) AG remains at 300 000 Swiss francs, which according to generally accepted business terms does not allow to engage in large loan, leasing and other transactions in accordance with the statutory prescribed list. One may presume gas trade "on paper" for high profits in the interests of a narrow circle of people.

A key figure for Gazprom (Schweiz) AG is Matthias Warning, a former East German intelligence officer (Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung (HVA)) of the Ministry of State Security ("Stasi"). It is well-known that Putin’s carrier with the intelligence service is also associated with GDR. It should be noted that at various times Warning was an independent director in the managing boards of different banks and companies associated with the current «lord of Kremlin»: «Rossiya» bank, VTB, “Rosneft”, “Transneft”, UC Rusal. It shows once again the prime service of M. Warning and his close ties with Kremlin. American sources pointed out that Warning in due time passed the professional 5-year training program on penetration and working in the western banking system. Traditionally Swiss banking system is the most attractive and gives more opportunities to carry out delicate transactions.

The first reason is rooted in the specifics of business àla Swiss. According to Swiss commercial law, which was amended since January 1, 2008 (and not towards transparency), the keeping of a shareholders register is an exclusive privilege of each company. Before the amendments, shareholders registers were kept at canton level, but since 2008 they are kept at corporate level. A company keeps the shareholders register itself and is not obliged to inform anybody about its сontent. Under the Swiss legislation, the obligation of companies to publish their commercial information is limited. For example, annual reports, accounting balance sheets, audit reports are disclosed only to shareholders.

According to Swiss legislation, a company is deemed as established from the moment of writing this in the commercial register, which contains information about location, authorized capital, members of the board, signatories, and executive officers. However, the information about shareholders is not open for public access as this information can be disclosed to any third persons only by the shareholder's consent.

This is a key aspect for understanding how reliable may be statements by officials or politicians denying their involvement in business registered in Switzerland.

The second most important reason is that companies such RosUkrEnergo or Gazprom (Schweiz) AG may issue two types of shares – registered (nominal) or bearer shares.

The bottom line is that by the decision of the shareholders, registered shares can be transformed into bearer shares (essentially anonymous) and vice versa. Bearer share certificates do not contain any information about the owner, and the holder of the bearer share certificate is automatically considered to be the owner. He is not registered in the register of the company. Neither the company nor the shareholders' meeting or any officials are obliged to find out how the holder got hold of the certificate.

Bearer shares are transferred by means of the handing over of the certificate. The sale of such shares does not require making any note on the certificate that is being transferred or compiling any accompanying document. Anyone who owns them can deny his personal involvement, because his name does not appear on the certificate, but at the same time he is entitled to demand and receive dividends. This opens up large opportunities for companies to act in a favor of certain persons.

The company, within the context of Swiss law, may deny any request for information about the shareholders and the duration of his title. This allows any person, who is in public service in a country and combines public service with the operation of a company with a "pure flexible conscience", to deny his involvement.

And this makes such schemes of business organization really elegant. It provides virtually unlimited opportunities for the real owners and actually protects them from criminal liability for corruption in their countries. It is possible that bearer shares might have passed through the hands of not only ministerial officials, but also some prime ministers and presidents acting through their very trusted proxies.

South Stream as a mirror of the “flexible” conscience

South Stream became a kind of polygraph to be passed through by European politicians interested in financial benefits from Gazprom and determined to keep and multiply them in the future. At least, it is reflected in statements of some diplomats from EU member states.

On 14 July 2014, German ambassador to Russia Ruediger von Fritsch said that German government would protect the interests of the German business in the gas pipeline project South Stream and hoped that all challenges would be solved (German company Wintershall is a stakeholder of the offshore part of the project).

Presenting the Italian presidency in the EU on 10 July in Brussels, state secretary for European affairs of the Italian government Sandro Gozi said that South Stream should be built in order to “support diversification of routes for gas supply to Europe”. A few days before, Italian minister of foreign affairs F.Mogherini stated that the implementation of South Stream continued to be “very important” for energy security of the entire European region.

On 5 July, ambassador of France to Russia Jean-Maurice Ripert has also in fact supported South Stream and pointed out that France is not prejudiced against Russian gas as Gaz de France (and its successors) is an active buyer of it.

These statements by official representatives of three main EU member states came practically simultaneously. It could not be explained by a mere coincidence, as project stakeholders are Russian Gazprom – 50%, Italian ENI – 20%, German Wintershall – 15% and French EdF – 15%. Even though revenues from these companies add few percentages to the state budgets of their respective countries, the threat to get colder by a few degrees water in the heating system and anger from voters overcome European values and determine the behavior and decisions of European politicians. However, it is only the top of iceberg, while the actual motives of such behavior could be found much deeper in offshore companies and accounts, carefully and regularly filled in by Russian gas business partners.

Austria in 2014 has partly repeated its step of 1962 (first contract on gas supply from the USSR to Western Europe during cold war), having signed agreement on South Stream construction.

Politicians from this country together with businesspersons have been working hard for a long time to create and keep attractive the investment climate without seeing that they are turning into a convenient harbour for dubious financial flows. It is hard to justify such a decision by economic preferences for the country, as data on external trade for 2012 placed Russia at the bottom of top ten most important partners with negative trade balance at around 1 billion Euro. At the same time, trade balance with the USA was positive with about 2.4 billion Euro and growing tendencies. Therefore, there should be some reason behind such improvidence of Austrian politicians and it might be explained by interest in financial stimuli for “flexible” conscience generated by Russian gas flows.

Certainly, everyone expects to get a part of such a costly pie as South Stream is – everyone to a certain extent – all parties involved into the project, including authorized companies in EU member states, where this gas pipeline is to be laid. On the territory of each country involved, a joint company will implement the project, with 50% owned by Gazprom and second half – by national company authorized by the government.

Italy is the most active one. Not only because its national oil and gas company ENI has the biggest after Gazprom share in the project but also because the subsidiary company Saipem will build the very expensive first line of the pipeline on the Black Sea bottom at a depth of over two kilometers. Saipem S.p.A. is a subsidiary of ENI, one of the biggest oil and gas contractors with many special vessels for work in the sea and laying of sea gas pipelines of different diameters and at different deapths.

Saipem received the contract on laying the first line and construction of coastal and shallow water parts for all four lines of the pipeline in March 2014. One line costs about 2 billion Euro. The second line of the South Stream will be built by a Dutch company, registered in Switzerland – Allseas Group S.A. and under support of Italian Saipem. For pipeline laying a new platform Peter Schelte is expected to be used, contract price remains undisclosed.

It should be noted that estimated costs of the whole project to transport Jamal gas to Europe makes according to the Center of Eastern-European gas analysis around 56 billion Euro. There is no single ratio of “remuneration for support”, but available information from reliable branch sources shows it can vary between 22% and 68%. Smaller percentage is for activities on the territory of EU member states, the biggest is for activities in Russia. The arithmetic average of “remuneration for support” will make 45%. It means 25,2 billion Euro, part of which could be used to express gratitude both to Kremlin circles and European politicians and bureaucrats to enhance flexibility of their conscience and finally to transfer it into a plasticine one.

To break the above sum into smaller rivers and flows and bring them to accounts of respective people in different countries, it is necessary to have a Swiss component in the South Stream project scheme (see picture 2).


Picture 2. Scope of South Stream: from Jamal to Alps via Black Sea


About 25 billion Euro should be enough to solve all upcoming challenges in talks with Euro bureaucrats and politicians. Especially now it seems to be easy, after gas sector has been removed from the list of sanctions.

Considering the above, it is likely that decision of the European Commission to release South Stream from Third Energy Package will come eventually sooner or later. Billions of Euro at Swiss accounts could do even more. It is therefore not a surprise that more than six months after the European Commission's antitrust investigation against Gazprom for violating market conditions in Europe there is still no resolution or decision on the issue. Different sources mentioned different penalties - from 10 to 15 billion US dollars. However, it is quite possible that this issue will be soft-pedaled: penalties would be symbolic or even a mutually beneficial settlement may be reached. In witness of the above, there were several efforts of DG Competition representatives to address the Russian part with proposals to solve controversial issues contrary to practices and rules for investigation and making accountable.

What else?

Do we have means to oppose the “elegant” transnational gas corruption? Yes, we do. On the global level, it is the USA which have to continue with the special program to monitor allies’ activities in Europe via NSA. As it become evident during recent months, some EU member states and in particular the leading countries are allies of the USA every second day, while continuing their opaque transnational gas deals with Russia in their "free" days.

The new European Parliament could create a special commission to investigate transnational corruption schemes used in energy and raw materials trade, as they could be as much dangerous and harmful as terrorism is.

Activities of Russian companies engaged in trading with energy in Europe, Russian banks and banks from leading EU member states, which finance those operations, should come under close investigation with respect to defaulting taxes and law compliance, in particular relations with terrorist organizations.

The USA and Europe should oblige Swiss banks and financial institutions to disclose information on financial transactions carried out by raw materials companies affiliated to Russian exporters and performed in the interests of third parties, specifically from offshore jurisdictions. It is quite possible that the reason behind German chancellors' peculiar attitude to the Russian issue may be hidden inter alia in the German-speaking Swiss cantons, such as Zug or Zürich.

And last but not least – once more about South Stream. We should not underestimate available for Ukraine instruments to oppose the EU policy to play for Russia in the gas sphere. It is evident, that South Stream will have significant impact mostly on Russian-Ukrainian, but not Russian-EU relations: this project, if implemented, will not bring any "added value" to the EU, because it will not increase gas supplies to the EU and will not diversify the sources of gas supplies. However, it will become a powerful instrument for Kremlin to continue aggression against Ukraine. Gazprom will try to kneel down Ukraine by switching gas transit flows from Ukraine to South Stream.

If the EU continues turning the blind eye to this particular fact, an adequate measure on the part of Ukraine could be a preventive refusal to provide gas transit services for the aggressor on its own territory. Currently by transiting Russian gas via its own territory - against the background of categorical unpreparedness and unwillingness of the EU to initiate sanctions against Russia in energy sector - Ukraine itself provides fuel for the engine of Russian aggression.

Refusing to transit Gazprom's gas, Ukraine as the Energy Community member should ensure gas transit via its territory for European companies, and they should buy gas on the Ukrainian-Russian border. It could be a quite “simple” way to implement the idea of changing the delivery points of Russian gas to European companies from the western to eastern borders of Ukraine, which idea was announced long ago. And the sooner this step is taken, the more efficient it will be, in particular, under the circumstances characterized by the cut off of Russian gas supply for the needs of Ukraine.

Finally, we would like to address a passage from the recent open letter from editors of key liberal newspapers in Europe to governments of EU member states: “Mister Putin still supplies weaponry and terrorists to the East of Ukraine. He continues to collect troops around the border”. Here we could add, that apart from weaponry and terrorists to Ukraine, Kremlin supplies corruption flows to Europe, which have a strategic goal to destroy Ukraine by ensuring meditative position of the EU. However, this strategy has already made a crack… It seems European values are still alive in Europe, even if gazocracy has won some tactical victories. And if behind-the-scenes negotiations between Germany and Russia with regard to Ukraine ("Crimea to Russia in exchange for Russian gas to the EU and Ukraine") are confirmed, they will look like a logical continuation of hidden relations centered around bursting gas and cash flows in Moscow - Berlin - Zurich.




27.02.2015 23:22:00