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Journal number 1 ∘ Zurab Garakanidze
The so-called half-sanctions’ role in Central Europe’s gas supply monopolization


Expanded Summary 

The article discusses the facts of the energy conflict between the Russian Federation and the European Union, and proposals by which Georgia, as a candidate country, can respond to the energy security challenges of the European Union. For example, from April 27, 2022, Gazprom completely stopped supplying gas to Bulgargaz, due to the latter's refusal to pay in Russian rubles. In response, in June 2022, the trial delivery of Azerbaijani gas to Bulgaria through the "South Caucasian Gas Pipeline" in the "Southern Gas Corridor" through Georgia began. Through the “Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline” (TAP) Bulgaria-Greece Interconnector - IGB, located in the same "Corridor" of the European Union, which will be 3 billion cubic meters by the end of 2024.

Southeastern European countries - Italy and Greece, and later Bulgaria - have receive gas from Azerbaijan through the "Southern Gas Corridor of the European Union" through the "Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline" (TAP) from December 31, 2020. After the interconnector IGB is fully operational, it is planned to increase its design capacity, which, although is a relatively small part of European gas consumption, but anyway will actually promote competition in the EU’s gas market.

In addition, the reason for ending Bulgaria's dependence on Russian gas is the Russian government itself, which, after imposing sanctions against it, demanded payment of gas fees from "unfriendly countries" by a new scheme, by exchanging foreign currency into rubles. Several countries, including Bulgaria, did not approve of the scheme and Gazprom cut off gas supplies to it.

The research results show that the dependence of the Central European countries - Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic on the Russian state monopoly "Gazprom" has increased, which was reflected in the less critical position of the governments of these countries on Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

Key words: economic security, sanctions, southern gas corridor, Gazprom, European Union, gas pipeline, Russia-Ukraine war, energy security of Georgia.