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.
Western firms are withdrawing from projects linked to the Southern Corridor probably due to the declining commercial attractiveness of these projects.
Gazprom must take into account that its position on the Lithuanian market is different today than it was in 2004.
Slovakia’s good relations with Gazprom have a decisive impact on Bratislava’s stance on the reversal issue.
Moscow tries to use the Ukrainian crisis as a pretext to revise gas cooperation with the EU.