Romania, gas and the Zmeiny Island

16.05.2022, Moscow.

In early May, the Ukrainian army made a daring attempt to regain control of the Zmeiny Island, suffering heavy losses. According to some reports, foreign mercenaries also took part in this operation.

What is the importance of controlling this island? As it turned out, it is not only because it can be used as a springboard for a landing force to Odessa by the Russian Armed Forces (which is unlikely to be possible in the next month, because the main forces of the group are busy destroying Ukrainian fighters in Donbass) or because whoever controls the island, may at any moment block the transit of civilian ships, as Kirill Budanov, head of intelligence of the Ukrainian army, stated (the transit is already missing, besides, arms supplies from Western countries to Ukraine do not go by sea, but through the western land border).

The point is that the island is adjacent to Romanian territorial waters, which were seized from Ukraine at The Hague Court in 2009.

These territories are rich in gas, which could replace Russian gas.

Romanian authorities have already announced that they will start producing natural gas from the Black Sea shelf by the end of 2022 and have promised to supply other European countries with gas as early as 2023.

Former Romanian head of intelligence Costin Georgescu argues that it is not only a concern about the possible landing near Odessa and the occupation of the entire Black Sea coast of Ukraine, but also about control of the area “where there are gas fields that could limit or even eliminate Romania’s and Europe’s dependence on Russian gas import”.

In addition, the Romanian media explicitly expressed the fear that if Russia were to take the entire Black Sea coast of Ukraine under control, the next step could be to challenge the Hague court ruling, according to which offshore territories with a gas field, which previously belonged to Ukraine, were transferred to Romania.

Translated from

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