The most recent evidence of Russian’s plan occurred in March 2009 when Surgutneftegaz bought a 21% ownership stake in Hungary’s central energetic company MOL, previously held by Austrian OMV.
Over the past ten years, Russian oil companies have become dominant market leaders in the distribution of oil throughout Southeastern Europe. Russia continues to aggressively develop and control the flow of oil and natural gas in the region. This, observers say, was calculated for significant influence — both comercial and political — in the region.
The dominant position in Bulgaria is held by Lukoil, which also has operations in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia. [Getty Images]
Was seit langem sichtbar ist, haben sich die NATO Länder, längst mit ihren primitiven Bestechungs Geschäften auch im Balkan selbst um die wichtigen Geschäften gebracht. Die Pleite mit der AMBO Öl- und Gas Pipeline, die noch lächerliche Nabucco Pipeline, seien erwähnt.
Bulgaria, Russia agree to start building nuclear plant
22/02/2010MOSCOW, Russia — Bulgaria and Russia have agreed to start building a nuclear power plant in the Bulgarian town of Belene this autumn, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said on Saturday (February 20th), after a trip to Sofia for talks with Bulgarian counterpart Traycho Traykov. Shmatko added that a series of details were discussed, particularly Russia’s readiness to provide financial assistance until a strategic investor is found. Russia will finance construction of the plant through a project company established for this purpose and is ready to invest 1.9 billion euros over a period of two years. Efforts to build the plant have stalled a number of times. (ITAR-TASS, Standart, Darik - 20/02/10)
Gazprom seeks entry to Bulgarian electricity market
A subsidiary of the Russian energy giant Gazprom has plans to become a leading player in Europe.
(Reuters, DPA - 19/02/10; Standart, Dnevnik, Focus News Agency, The Banker -16/02/10; Bulgarian Energy Holding, National Electric Company, State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission)
Gazprom Marketing & Trading hopes to get a 20-year-license to trade energy in Bulgaria. [File]
The company, which applied for the permit in August, has provided a guaranteed deposit of about 75,000 euros and its bid meets the Bulgarian legal requirements.
Established in 1999, the London-based power trader already operates in a number of European countries, including Britain, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland. Last year it obtained a Romanian license, Bulgarian dailies reported……
Moscow reaps fruit of long-term plan
Since 1998, when Lukoil set up shop in Bulgaria, Russia has slowly increased its presence and influence in Balkan energy markets by buying companies throughout the region.
Analysis by Marko Biocina for Southeast European Times in Zagreb — 22/02/10
Russia continues to aggressively develop and control the flow of oil and natural gas in the region.
Surgutneftegaz is one of Russia’s least transparent oil companies, with alleged ownership ties to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. By buying into the Hungarian company, Surgutneftegaz automatically gained a stake in Croatia’s INA, whose 47% share is owned by MOL.
To limit Surgutneftegaz’s influence, the Hungarian company changed its shareholder voting rules. But there is no doubt that by entering into the ownership structure of MOL and INA, the Russians achieved entry into the Croatian and Hungarian market. This is not only a business triumph, but points to the geopolitical success of a ten-year Russian strategy.
Russian companies now operate in all of the energy markets of Southeastern Europe.
The dominant position in Bulgaria is held by Lukoil, which also has operations in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Montenegro and Croatia. Russia’s influence in Serbia was further strengthened last year when state-owned Gazprom took over Naftna Industries in Serbia. In BiH, Russia owns Naftna Industries in Republika Srpska (NIRS).
It is clear that none of this occurred by chance or without great forethought. Indeed, the long-term strategy was executed through the business and political sectors, with the business component unfolding over a decade.
During that time, some Russian companies made deals for short-term losses now seen as a bigger strategy for later success. The Russians expanded in the region by buying up existing firms and if that failed, set up and developed their own energy firms connected to existing ones.
The process was costly, but well co-ordinated. In the final tally, Russian companies will have achieved almost complete control of retail sales, refineries and oil and natural gas transportation systems in every Southeastern European country in the next few years.
The dominant position in Bulgaria is held by Lukoil, which also has operations in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia
Lukoil’s Burgas refinery is the largest in the Balkans and has become a base for further Lukoil development throughout the region. Lukoil is also one of the biggest companies in Bulgaria, generating 9% of the Bulgarian GDP and paying one-fourth of all tax revenue in the country.
In late 2003, the company undertook its largest investment when it purchased a 79.5% of Serbian oil company Beopetrol for 117m euros. Beopetrol owned about 200 petrol filling stations, and held 20% of the retail market for oil derivatives in Serbia.