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Eastern Europe Is Turning Into An Energy Battleground


Bulgaria has agreed to allow NATO to use its Black Sea port for naval coordination efforts as tensions rise between the Western military alliance and Russia.

The agreement was reached following a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov at the White House on November 25.

NATO has bolstered its defenses in Eastern Europe, including the Black Sea region, which is becoming a new frontier for energy geopolitics, after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and seized Ukrainian Navy vessels last year.

NATO earlier this year carried out military exercises in the Black Sea that involved more than 20 ships and crews from Romania, Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, the Netherlands, and Turkey to the consternation of Moscow. Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based in Crimea.

“Viewing with concern the security situation in the Black Sea, the United States welcomes Bulgaria’s offer to provide a maritime coordination function at Varna in support of NATO’s Tailored Forward Presence initiative,” the United States and Bulgaria said in a joint statement.

U.S. and Bulgarian officials will hold high-level meetings to discuss further maritime military cooperation, the statement said.

NATO members Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey border the Black Sea along with Ukraine, Georgia, and Russia. Both Ukraine and Georgia have expressed a desire to join NATO.

Trump hosted Romanian President Klaus Iohannis last month as part of a series of engagements with leaders from Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Austria.

Prior to his arrival in Washington, Borisov told journalists that he would not allow a permanent NATO military base on the Black Sea, a move that would anger Russia.

Bulgaria agreed to continue increasing its military spending to modernize its military and meet NATO’s spending targets of at least 2 percent of gross domestic product, a threshold it will surpass this year following the purchase of its first F-16 fighter jets from the United States.

It’s part of a $1.67 billion package that is the country’s biggest military procurement since the fall of communism in the early 1990s. It includes ammunition, training, and support from the United States.

The eight F-16 jets are expected to be delivered to Bulgaria in 2023 and 2024 to replace the Bulgarian Air Force’s fleet of Soviet-built MiG-29s.

Washington agreed to seek defense-industry partnerships with Bulgarian companies, while Sofia agreed to open its defense procurement to U.S. companies, a separate joint statement from the two presidents said.

Energy Diversification

Washington will aim to help Bulgaria wean itself off Russian energy dependence, not just through exports of natural gas but also through the supply of nuclear fuel, the joint presidential statement said.

Bulgaria’s only nuclear plant, Kozloduy, runs on energy supplied by Russia while it imports the majority of its oil and gas from Russia. The United States will send a “technical team” to Bulgaria to study cooperation in different areas of energy, including nuclear.

“The United States and Bulgaria also plan to work together to enhance Bulgaria’s energy security by supporting expeditiously the licensing and use of American nuclear fuel for the Kozloduy nuclear power plant,” the joint presidential statement said.

The United States also called on Bulgaria to fight corruption and protect media freedoms, which have eroded over the past decade as the energy sector comes under the control of politically connected oligarchs.

34 Comments on "Eastern Europe Is Turning Into An Energy Battleground"

  1. dissident on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 9:08 am 

    Ukraine annexed Crimea in 1991. Crimea voted for restoration of its autonomy and the Ukrainian government accepted the referendum. After the breakup of the USSR, the Ukrainian government claimed full ownership. That’s not how it works, dirtbags. And NATO recognition of Ukrainian “ownership” is not worth anything since 3rd parties don’t have any rights in such cases.

    Funny how there is endless yapping about diversification. Go ahead ship all that virtual LNG to the EU. There are LNG terminals all over the place. Nobody is stopping you. But then, you don’t have the export capacity to service EU import demand. Something systematically ignored in such propaganda rubbish pieces. The USA imported 80 bcm of gas from Canada in 2018. It does not have 150-200 bcm export capacity to service the EU.

  2. JuanP on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 9:39 am 

    OOps this is a zero hedge article. stupid PO dot com

    I get extremely triggered when people reference articles that are also on Zero Hedge. I can’t stand it. fuckers

  3. Robert Inget on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 10:33 am 

    When governments Iran and Iraq are killing protesters wholesale, One could easily come to think Eastern Europe is rather peaceful. After-all,
    don’t trains run on time?

    Take Poland, please.
    Because Poland’s gas/oil has long since past basement levels, Poland, Eastern Europe is
    kinda like a forward looking time machine for all
    Europe. Who wants to invade shady nations with almost zero oil?

  4. Flux Capacitor on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 10:34 am 

    Fuck those fucking fuckerheads.

  5. Davy on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 11:49 am 

    I’m with you on that Flux Capacitor.

  6. Duncan Idaho on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 11:50 am 

    Ukraine annexed Crimea in 1991.

    Russia did that 250 years ago.
    9 out of 10 residents are Russian, and Russian is the spoken language.
    I guess Crimea could be returned to the original residents, and so could the USA be returned to the original residents–
    So get ready to move comrades!

  7. JuanP ID theft on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 11:51 am 

    more stupid

    Davy said I’m with you on that Flux Capacitor.

  8. REAL Green on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 12:00 pm 

    Why do you always need to be such a jerkoff Davy?

  9. Cloggie on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 12:16 pm 

    Real energy news from Bulgaria:

    “Russia says Bulgaria to complete pipeline stretch of TurkStream by 2020”

  10. Davy on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 12:41 pm 

    Zero hedge is a Bulgarian web sight cloggo. What else would you expect but a load of BS?

  11. JuanP on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 4:05 pm 

    The wisdom contained in the comments above overwhelm me!

  12. JuanP on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 4:06 pm 

    If only me was so wise!

  13. makati1 on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 4:50 pm 

    I like your comment, Duncan. Most Amerikans are so dumbed down and history challenged that they believe anything from the USMSM propaganda machine. They are also geography deficient, if it is more than 20 miles from their home. Without GPS, they couldn’t find their way out of their state. A paper road map is a foreign language.

    Slip slidin’ into the 3rd world…

  14. makati1 on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 5:06 pm 

    Just as Iran controls access to the Persian Gulf, Turkey controls the entrance to the Black Sea. Turkey is being forced to partner with Russia. Iran is already a Russian partner. Does this seem to make a pattern in stupid US ideas? Put your navy in a bathtub so it can be easily sunk if there is a real war.

    Ditto for any US navy ships in the South China Sea or even within 1,000+ miles of China. And North Korea can take out any in the East China Sea. Navies are about obsolete for anything except protecting your own shoreline.

    The Philippines is under that 1,000+ mile Chinese umbrella. Do you think stationing US troops in the Philippines will be possible if a major war breaks out? I don’t. Even Guam will not be safe.

    BTW: The Chinese already own most of the Philippines. The stores here make announcements in English, Korean and Chinese. ^_^

  15. Davy on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 5:15 pm 

    “The wisdom contained in the comments above overwhelm me!”

    It does not take much to overwhelm you lunatic. Talk about a child like personality. JuanPee takes the cake

  16. Davy on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 5:19 pm 

    “China Braces For December D-Day: The “Unprecedented” Default Of A Massive State-Owned Enterprise” zero hedge

    “Something is seriously starting to break in China’s financial system. Three days after we described the self-destructive doom loop that is tearing apart China’s smaller banks, where a second bank run took place in just two weeks – an unprecedented event for a country where until earlier this year not a single bank was allowed to fail publicly and has now had no less than five bank high profile nationalizations/bailouts/runs so far this year – the Chinese bond market is bracing itself for an unprecedented shock: a major, Fortune 500 Chinese commodity trader is poised to become the biggest and highest profile state-owned enterprise to default in the dollar bond market in over two decades. In what Bloomberg dubbed the latest sign that Beijing is more willing to allow failures in the politically sensitive SOE sector – either that, or China is simply no longer able to control the spillovers from its cracking $40 trillion financial system – commodity trader Tewoo Group – the largest state-owned enterprise in China’s Tianjin province – has offered an “unprecedented” debt restructuring plan that entails deep losses for investors or a swap for new bonds with significantly lower returns… The fact that a state owned enterprise such as Tewoo has just days before it defaults, in either a prepack or “freefall” form, suggests that Beijing will no longer bail out troubled SOEs, let alone private firms, perhaps due to the strains imposed by the economy which is slowing the most in three decades. It also raises concerns over Tianjin, where it’s based, following a series of rating downgrades and financing difficulties suffered by some of the city’s state-run firms. The metropolis near Beijing also has the highest ratio of local government financing vehicle bonds to GDP in China. In short, if there a glitch with Tewoo’s default, the Chinese dominoes could start really falling.”

  17. REAL Green on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 5:22 pm 

    That thing you did at the end there makato is real neat.


    I hope you don’t mind if me n Davy use that on our own blog.

  18. JuanP ID theft on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 5:25 pm 


    REAL Green said That thing you did at the end there makato is real..

    why cause he is a coward and afraid of debate. Low IQ stuck up Miami Beach high school drop out about says it all

  19. Davy on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 5:28 pm 

    That JuanP ID theft guy is a real moron.

  20. JuanP ID theft on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 5:31 pm 


    Davy said That JuanP ID theft guy is a real moron.

  21. REAL Green on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 5:31 pm 

    He’s a dork too Davy.

  22. Davy on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 5:32 pm 

    I like dorks REAL Green.

  23. JuanP ID theft on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 5:35 pm 


    Davy said I like dorks REAL Green.

    REAL Green said He’s a dork too Davy.

  24. Davy on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 5:37 pm 

    I specially like the dark ones.

  25. JuanP ID theft on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 5:39 pm 


    Davy said I specially like the dark ones.

    Davy is stupid said Stupid stuff everything stupid davy and his stupid…

  26. Davy on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 5:45 pm 

    The best way to deal with trolls like that JuanP ID Theft dork is to ignore them. They’ll get board and fade away.

  27. JuanP ID theft on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 5:49 pm 


    Davy said The best way to deal with trolls like that JuanP I…

  28. REAL Green on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 5:52 pm 

    Good point Davy.

    Everyone ignore the JuanP ID Theft troll.

  29. JuanP ID theft on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 5:57 pm 


    REAL Green said Good point Davy. Everyone ignore the JuanP ID Thef…

  30. JuanP on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 8:14 pm 

    I continue to be amazed by the wisdom shown here, particularly Davy’s. Davy is a fountain of wisdom.

  31. Davy on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 8:21 pm 

    Thanks Juan, but I prefer to be nown as the fountain of dom. Forget about the wis part.

    BTW Juan. Still miss you lots. Old friend.

  32. makati1 on Sat, 30th Nov 2019 3:01 am 

    Read and weep, Amerikans. THIS is YOUR country:

    “US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said some years ago that concentration camps were a likely future reality for Americans and that the Supreme Court would not do anything about the tyranny should the executive branch think it necessary…The US has for many years been dangerously close to a situation where, if the American people take to the streets in protest, these internments can be easily carried out. By 2004, there were more than 800 of these internment camps in the US, all empty, but all fully operational, staffed, and surrounded by full-time guards, ready to receive prisoners…The same government manual describes how prisoners will be processed through these internment camps, and outlines how these internees would be “re-educated” while detained in prison camps inside their own country by their own government…“Once the detainees have been processed into the internment camp, the manual explains how they will be “indoctrinated”, with a particular focus on coercing political dissidents into expressing support for U.S. policies.”” (Shades of Communist China!)

    “In June of 2016, RT reported that non-military federal agencies had more firepower than the entire US Marine Corps, this including agencies like education, health and income tax…In addition to the massive purchase of ammunition, DHS was showing off its acquisition of heavily armored and mine-resistant personnel carriers which have been seen on streets all across America and verified with photos and video…“We have local police, backed up by each state’s National Guard, backed up by the Department of Defense. So in addition to all these forces why does Homeland Security need its own private army? Why do the SSA, NOAA and other government agencies need to create their own civilian security forces armed with hollow nose bullets?”… ‘ (I saw the beginning of this when I was in the national guard. Think Kent State,)

    Yes, when the SHTF, “free” Amerika will be gone A name only. The denialists will not even read the article. The realists already know. Which are you? Maybe you should at least read, at the end of the article, what to do when it happens?

  33. Davy on Sat, 30th Nov 2019 4:33 am 

    “Read and weep, Amerikans. THIS is YOUR country:”

    You got a link??

    “The denialists will not even read the article.”

    How about the delusionalist who posted the article with anger and resentment not science and balance.

  34. Sissyfuss on Sat, 30th Nov 2019 1:20 pm 

    I’ve always read Zero Hedge after I found it and I found it sensationalistic in nature and prolific in production. But as times grow more frenetic and sensational I find their articles to be more consistent with the modern day zeitgeist. As if the Enquierer morphed into the Atlantic.

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