The US is trying to halt the South Stream project aimed at supplying Europe with gas as it hopes this would have an adverse economic effect on Russia, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts told RT.
RT:Bulgaria and Serbia confirmed the South Stream project will continue, despite significant pressure from the EU. Why have they taken that decision do you think?
Paul Craig Roberts: I think what is going on here; it’s the US, not the EU. Bulgarians themselves said that they are being pressured by Washington to stop the work on the pipeline. This is the pipeline that runs under the Black Sea from Russia into Bulgaria; it borders Ukraine and makes it possible for Russia to continue to supply energy to Eastern and Western Europe. The problem with the existing pipeline through Ukraine is that Ukraine is broke, it is not paying its bills, and Russia faces the prospect of trying to supply Europe through the pipeline through Ukraine which would result in theft of gas by Ukraine that can’t pay its gas bill. This is giving an alternative way of supplying Europe, so Europe itself has no interest in blocking the construction of this pipeline. This is an America imposed decision.
RT: If all this is Washington’s initiative, then why it is trying to stop the project aimed at supplying with energy its own ally?
PR: Washington doesn’t care what happens to Eastern or Western Europe, it is trying to hurt Russia, and Washington thinks that if it can stop Russia’s ability to sell gas to Europe, this will have an adverse economic effect on Russia. Of course it will also have an adverse economic effect on Europe, in fact, probably worse, because German industry is dependent on Russian energy supplies, and all Europe is dependent on Russia’s energy supplies not to freeze to death in the winter time. What you see here is the Washington empire, the exceptional and indispensible people who are superior to all other life forms, completely willing to sacrifice their allies in order to hurt Russia. That’s all it about. That is not about anything else.
RT: Some experts believe Brussels is trying to put up barriers to the South Stream project because the US is looking to ship liquefied natural gas to Europe. Could that be true?
PR: Even if it could be true, it is 3-4 years in future, and if the gas flows to Europe stop now, what are they going to do for 3-4 years? The second point is that recently it was officially announced that the oil and gas supplies that would be recovered by fracking in the US were overstated by many-fold percent. So the whole thing is a myth. There is no possibility whatsoever of the US supplying Europe with energy to offset the loss of supplies from Russia. It simply can’t happen, it is impossible. So that is just a lie. My point is that Washington does not care. Anything they can do to hurt Russia if it wipes out their allies, they could care less.
RT: The European Commission is set to resolve the legal issues around the South Stream pipeline soon. But how likely is it that Bulgaria and Serbia will eventually go ahead with the project?
PR: Here is the situation. Europe has to come to some decision: do they prefer to be Washington’s puppet states or sacrifice their interests for Washington’s world empire or do they prefer to look after their own interests? So the question with the pipeline is really up to Europe, it is not up to Washington. If the Europeans say “Look, we don’t want to take this risk with energy supplies, just so Washington can beat up on Russia” and they disassociate from this, then the pipeline will continue. In that sense it’s the Europeans' decision. They have to decide whether they represent Europe, they represent European people or they represent Washington. That is the determining factor here, and it will be very interesting to see how they come to this decision.
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