March 20, 2008
The Hungarian government’s decision to participate in Russia’s South Stream pipeline, an alternative natural gas feeding infrastructure into Europe was highly debated. A gas depot will also be located in Hungary that will take in a minimum of 1 billion cubic meters of gas. Many believe that this decision (similar decisions were made by other Central and South European governments) undermines the Commission’s pet project Nabucco, another natural gas pipeline that is supposed to ease the monopoly power of Russian sellers on the European gas market. Hungary’s official position that it supports both pipelines because we need a choice of suppliers.
The United States have been long lobbying for the Nabucco pipeline. It is quite surprising that the US foreign policy journalist have just realized that this effectively means marketing Iranian natural gas (World Politics Review, FP Passport). I think that both the question and this answer is correct: although there is a number of countries that have big natural gas reserves, they are either influenced by Russia or Iran, or have no viable transport rules beside the territories ruled or dominated by these regional powers. I think it is time to realize that Nabucco, which is an official European project, only makes sense in a peaceful Middle East and only in an environment where the EU and Iran have a long-term co-operation. Ironically, this is partly a not planned side effect of the Iraqi war that wiped out the Iraqi counterbalance from the regional power equasion. The vacuum created after the defeat of Iraq and the forseeable American pull-out will be filled by Iran.
And by the way, Turkey is also along the way from Iran to the EU.Author : Dániel Antal