Il problema del gas di Putin

HOUSTON – Gli osservatori russi si stanno giustamente focalizzando sull’ultimo fragile cessate in fuoco in Ucraina, cercando di discernere le intenzioni del presidente Vladimir Putin in quest’area. Ma farebbero bene a non trascurare un’altra lotta in corso – che avrà profonde conseguenze a lungo termine per l’Europa e per l’abilità di Putin di esercitare pressioni sul continente.

Lo scorso dicembre, il colosso russo del gas, Gazprom, e una società turca di pipeline hanno siglato un protocollo di intesa per costruire un gasdotto che si snodi dalla Russia alla Turchia via Mar Nero. Questo nuovo “Turkish Stream” è un’alternativa a “South Stream”, la pipeline dalla Russia alla Bulgaria via Mar Nero – un progetto che però il Cremlino ha abbandonato a dicembre, in risposta alle sanzioni imposte dall’Unione europea dopo l’invasione dell’Ucraina per mano della Russia e l’annessione della Crimea.

Il progetto South Stream non è riuscito a conformarsi alle direttive dell’Ue in materia di concorrenza ed energia, e l’annuncio del Turkish Stream da 12 miliardi di dollari potrebbe rafforzare la reputazione della Russia di partner inaffidabile, spingendo quindi l’Europa a cercare in fretta forniture alternative. Mettendo a rischio il suo mercato più lucrativo, Putin mostra una certa noncuranza, quasi suicida, per l’economia russa – apparentemente per nessun motivo se non quello di cementare l’inimicizia con l’Ucraina.

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