Investment in Croatian Gas Could Bolster American Security

Tomislav Karamarko (L)
James Jay Carafano (R)
Photo: Croatian Institute for Security & Prosperity

By: Tomislav Karamarko and James Jay Carafano

Europe is hooked on Russian energy. Last year, the European Union (EU) relied on Russia for 34 percent of its gas imports —up significantly from 2015. European nations like Bulgaria, Finland, Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia and Slovakia—remain dependent on Russia for more than 60 percent of their natural-gas imports.

What is more, Russia has no qualms about using energy as a trump card, cutting gas supplies to get its way in political disputes. For example, Moscow stopped supplying natural gas to Ukraine in 2006, 2009, 2014 and 2015, as that nation struggled to align itself with the West. Russia also cut back its cut back its natural-gas exports to Austria, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia in 2014 when these countries supported Ukraine.

Europe’s energy dependence on Russia is not in line with the interests of Europe and the United States. Decline of European gas production with no turnaround in sight speaks for itself. Last year, for example, the government statistics office in the Netherlands reported that 80 percent of the country’s natural-gas reserves were gone.

Still, there is a way to make Europe more energy independent with the help of American energy exports and the construction of new import facilities in Europe. One potential new entry point for American liquefied natural gas (LNG) is Croatia’s Krk Island. A planned LNG import facility there would initially accommodate delivery of two billion cubic meters of gas a year.

Krk Island’s strategic location would allow for LNG distribution both west (into countries like Italy and France) and south into other Balkan nations. That promising location is one reason why the terminal project has already secured over €100 million in funding from the EU.

The terminal project would let Croatia work with its closest ally—the United States—to forge a deeper energy partnership. Together, the facilities and the partnership would enhance both nations’ security and prosperity for decades to come.

All signs are positive. President Trump endorsed the project during his recent meeting with leaders from the Central and East European region. President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic voiced support in response.

President Trump’s statement that “the United States will never use energy to coerce your nations, and we cannot allow others to do so,” is key to understanding the importance of this project to Croatia, the EU and the United States.

The Krk Island terminal would join Lithuania’s Klaipėda terminal and Poland’s Świnoujście terminal as critical gateways for American LNG imports. And these three facilities can help ease the pressure of the Kremlin on Europe.

So it doesn’t come as a surprise that Russia is lobbying for completion of a different energy project: the Nord Stream II pipeline under the Baltic Sea, which would connect Russia with Germany. However, that project is neither economically necessary nor geopolitically prudent.

As European nations reinvest in security, a comprehensive approach demands developing alternatives to Russian energy. The timing could not be better. For the first time in decades, America is becoming a net exporter of energy. Increasing U.S. energy exports to Europe will bind the Atlantic alliance closer, enhance energy security and create jobs and economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic.

An LNG terminal on Krk Island would do far more than create tremendous economic opportunity for Croatia and the United States. It could exert outsized influence on behalf of energy security and stability throughout the region.
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Tomislav Karamarko is founder and chairman of the Croatian Institute for Security and Prosperity. James Jay Carafano is a Heritage Foundation vice president, in charge of the think tank’s research program on issues of national security and foreign relations.

 

Comments

  1. Dear Ina, another most interesting post.. And I am so pleased to be here to read.. Its been a while I know..
    It amazes me how these big giants play card games within the cartels and dishes out those cuts..
    And in reality I am sure they are all in cahoots when it comes to keeping prices high..

    Its not just Gas but Oil too.. Here only days after the awful Texas flooding Petrol prices rose at the pumps dramatically here in the UK supposedly due to the oil not getting pumped out in Texas.. I wonder why they think we are so blind as to see this wouldn’t take effect immediately.. Yet again alot of our oil also comes from Russia..
    While the world plays its games of Cold Wars and espionage, these major nations are entwined in many projects together..

    I hope the investment in Croatian Gas helps Croatia .. But its also time we started to look further than natural gas’s and oil for our Earth does not have a never ending supply. Yet we seem hell bent on sucking her dry..

    I am sure there have already been found alternative solutions to renewable energy alternatives, yet I feel those at the Top are not wishing to let go of their control mechanisms..

    Wishing you a beautiful Day Ina and a Peaceful weekend my friend..
    Sending you much love and I am so grateful there are people like your good self who are so passionate and who care about what goes on in the world..

    Love Sue 💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sue. Regretfully, Croatia pursues no better road to renewable energy than other countries. The fad of easy access in the here and now frightfully neglects the perils of future generation in energy supplies.If I were in power I’d introduce a fee for every energy supply extracted from the ground towards renewable energy efforts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I know what you mean Ina.. but Fees are attached to our energy bills which are passed onto the consumer, for the Green Tax.. I forget how much my hubby said, but it goes onto our Bills, so they would only pass it on and make our energy even more expensive..
        The problem is I know they have researched Free Energy and its been invented, Yet each time its been suppressed..Because if it took off, those in Power would lose control.. Most in positions of power are connected to Energy oil, Gas, and big Pharma ..
        If it were allowed it would change the world..

        I hope you have time to look at this ten minute Video..
        Sending LOVE and Hugs Ina..
        Sue ❤

        Like

      • Yes it is much about control and money, what a shame. Thanks for video link Sue, it’s a good one indeed. Hugs back 🙂 XOXO

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are welcome Ina.. and much love returned xxx ❤

        Like

  2. Reblogged this on Ace News Desk.

    Like

  3. Nice post Ina ….A while ago l said this so called war to end all wars would be of attrition as trade is more important than people’s lives …wether it’s starving them or pushing prices so high that only the wealthy can afford basic necessities such as heat and light …By design of contracts aimed at control of oil and gas pipelines, that can be switched on or off should a country or nation not do as they are told …wether it’s vote for slime or pay more is coming to pass and it will become that people are a commodity of sorts ….that need to earn more than they cost …Selling people to the highest bidder …

    Like

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