Romania Announces Changes to Its Energy Sector
Russia has spent much of 2007 positioning themselves to be a major global energy supplier. Similar to Russia, but with a different strategy, Romania is taking steps to become a major regional energy supplier to the European Union.
The Romanian government recently announced it will create a new holding company that will consolidate state-owned nuclear, thermal and hydro-electric companies. This overhaul of Romania's energy sector is the first step in a plan that will ultimately allow the country to generate energy exports to other European Union countries by 2020.
It will be interesting to see Russia's response to Romania's plan. I can see President Vladimir Putin being very unhappy about this announcement. It steps on Russia's toes and will provide European nations with an alternative source of energy. Russia has used bullying tactics in the past to get what they want, but that approach will no longer work if viable alternatives exist.
Romania is not energy self-sufficient, depending on Russia for some of its current energy needs. I wonder whether Russia will lessen or discontinue gas and oil supplies to Romania as a childish response to the Romanian announcement. They have reacted like this before, so it would not be surprising to see it again.