Moscow is preparing itself for the ‘long game’ in gas with its European partners.
The construction of the second branch of the Baku–Tbilisi–Erzurum gas pipeline began on 20 September in Baku.
The problems with Russian gas have further increased concerns about the security of supplies.
The contract with Statoil will be the first time an alternative to gas supplies from Gazprom has been made possible.
By taking control of Gazprom’s shares, Lithuania has marked the beginning of new relations between Vilnius and the Russian company.
Both countries are prepared for lengthy litigation as they are aware that the future model of bilateral gas co-operation is at stake.
The signing of the 30-year contract ends the long negotiation process initiated in the 1990s.
The contradictory statements concerning the future of the South Stream project should be interpreted in the broader context of the Serbian-Russian game.
Due to pressure from the EU and increasing criticism from the US, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski announced that the South Stream would be withheld.
The further reduction of Gazprom’s export monopoly will not be a process of de-monopolisation in the strict sense.