09 February 2019

Russia's Creeping Ever Closer

5 Adar I 5779
Shavua Tov!

On Dec. 30, 2018, I wrote the following comment on another blog...
Regarding Russia's aims in Syria, let's not forget how this all started in the first place. Russia's economy depends on its sale of gas to Europe. Europe does not like being held hostage to Russian prices. Other markets wanted to compete, but they needed a pipeline to run through Syria. Assad, prisoner to Russian interests, could not let that happen so he refused permission. At the first sign that Assad would be toppled and a more agreeable businessman put in power, Russia moved in to "support" Assad's rule.

Then came the development of Israeli gas fields in the Mediterranean with a clear line to Europe without going through Syria.

Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy agree on $7b. East Med gas pipeline to Europe

Now, Israel is a direct threat to Russian national interests and economic security. How long will they sit still for that?
Tonight, Debka is reporting the next installment of this saga...

Moscow backs Hizballah ahead of Netanyahu visit, eyes Lebanon’s gas

Rosneft, the Russian energy giant, has planted a foot in Lebanon’s gas and oil industry, having recently signed a 20-year accord for the management of the oil and gas facilities in the northern town of Tripoli. Moscow may well swing its support behind Hizballah’s claim that Israel’s Leviathan gas field has commandeered some of the offshore Mediterranean gas that it says belongs to Lebanon. A dispute over control of this energy resource, with Beirut backed by Moscow, could become the pretext for an outbreak of hostilities....
 (Earlier posts on this subject here.)

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