Russia is mounting a major publicity campaign in Europe for its proposed South Stream gas pipeline in an apparent effort to reassure its EU customers that they can rely on Russian gas for the indefinite future.
The reason for Moscow’s public relations efforts is the continuing unrest in Ukraine. EU countries now get about 30 percent of their gas from Russia, half of it piped through Ukraine. Twice, in 2006 and 2009, that flow has been interrupted. Gas flows to Europe through Ukraine are intact today, but that status may change depending on whether relations between Russia and Ukraine improve or decline.