U.S.-Backed Nabucco Pipeline Takes Baby Steps

A U.S.-backed gas pipeline that would reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian energy supplies received a fillip earlier this month when German power giant RWE joined the project, but questions about where the Nabucco pipeline’s supplies will come from persist. “Nabucco has got the cart before the horse. It’s all driven by an increase in demand for gas in Europe and the drive to diversify supplies away from Russia,” said Andrew Neff, senior energy analyst in Istanbul, Turkey, with Global Insight, a London-based think tank. “Putting infrastructure in place has become a political animal more than a commercial venture.” Still, RWE […]

January turned out to be an eventful month for Ukraine, as the country became embroiled in a heated debate about its prospects for joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. While NATO has its supporters and critics in Ukrainian society, partisan divisions in the Ukrainian government have made political dialogue between these groups especially difficult. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko represents the fiercely pro-Western forces which push for the country’s speedy admission to NATO. The national parliament, Verkhovna Rada, is dominated by the Party of Regions and the Communist Party, which advocate for strengthening Ukraine’s economic and political ties with neighboring Russia. […]