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Has shale gas put an end to Eastern opening?

December 6th, 2014
A left-wing analyst suggests that Europe‘s exposure to Russian gas supplies will soon come to an end and Russia’s ensuing weakening makes Hungary’s Eastern Opening an impossible option.

In Népszabadság, Gábor Horváth believes that the South Stream gas pipeline project has been abandoned by President Putin of Russia because by the time it would be completed, the European market will have been taken over by liquefied shale gas. Terminals to receive shale gas shipments are already being built in Polish, Lithuanian and Croatian ports, which shows that Europe is now moving from words to deeds in diversifying its energy suppliers. The US has urged this for many years, but the EU only made up its mind in the wake of the shale gas revolution on the one hand and Russia’s heavy handed Ukraine policy on the other. The great loser of this game, Horváth believes, is none other than Russia, because it will end up isolated, devoid of capital and technology and will lose most of its income resources. Central Europe, he continues, has had some elbow room so far in manoeuvring between East and West, but in the light of the latest developments “that game is practically over”, he concludes.

 

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