A new company is being created, in which Russia will own a 51% stake, to build a pipeline to carry Russian oil via the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas and Greece’s Alexandroupolis on the Aegean, so as to bypass the congested Bosporus. It will pump 35mn metric tons a year, though capacity can eventually be increased to 50mn.
Atomstroyexport, Russia’s state nuclear equipment monopoly, has also been awarded a contract, estimated at 6bn $, to build two reactors for Bulgaria’s second nuclear power station in the town of Belene. According to Foreign Minister Lavrov, more agreements could be signed on Putin’s visit to the country, timed to coincide with celebrations of the 130th anniversary of the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule by a force led by Russia’s Tsar Alexander II.
Gazprom expands gas supplies to Turkey – because Iran stopped supplying them because of rising domestic demand due to a cold spell. Meanwhile, Turkey has stopped the transit of Azeri gas to Greece pending the resumption of the Iranian supplies.
Italy’s Alenia permitted blocking stake in Sukhoi subsidiary – Alenia Aeronautica will get a 25%+1 share blocking stake in Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, a subsidiary in Russian aircraft maker Sukhoi. They are partners in building the Sukhoi SuperJet-100, a 75-90 seat regional jet carrier expected to compete with similar aircraft from Bombardier and Embraer. The Italian firm will help with European marketing and compliance with noise and emissions standards. Nonetheless, the nativist tradition is still upheld – foreign residents should account for no more than 25% of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft executives and its chief executive should a Russian national.
Russia won’t exceed 1990 level in CO2 emissions until 2020 – which we suppose is a good thing, since that would mean totally effortless compliance on Russia’s part with the Kyoto Protocols.
Organize peaceful demonstrations in Estonia (OK, we’ll refrain from adding a cheapshot extra S to the country’s name), despite police provocations. Have your protests interrupted by vandalism and looting on the part of apolitical opportunists (218 out of almost 300 vandals arrested during events on 26.–28. April, had a previous criminal record). Be detained for 7 months and hope you don’t get another 5 years on top of that.
Actually this calls for an Editorial: Annals of Russophobic Fascism. I’ve already gathered the material so expect this sometime in the week ahead.
Russia rebukes UK over British Council defiance – we can’t say we agree over Russia pressuring the British Council (we’re sure there are more suitable targets, which don’t benefit thousands of Russians uninvolved in all these diplomatic-political shenanigans). Nonetheless, refusing to move out is a hopeless struggle and the BC would be wise to cut its losses and turn over St. Petersburg and Ekaterinburg operations to local intermediaries.
Postponed exercises with Russia to go ahead this week: NATO – for some reason this is nowhere near as well advertised as military relations between Russia and China, e.g. the SCO military exercises in 2007. The media always needs enemies.