|AWG in Euractiv: Energy and Security in the Balkans|
Balkan Gas Interconnectors (BGI) pull the region together while Serbia weighs whether to join the current toward NATO. Associate Researchers Dr. Theodore Tsakiris and Jelena Radoman were both published in Euractiv on Friday, 10 December 2010.
In addition to their publications, both Dr. Tsakiris and Ms. Radoman have contributed to larger Athens Working Group projects. Their expertise in energy and security, respectively, complements the political research of the core research team. They have also both partcipated in AWG conferences and events in addition to their robust research responsibilities.
Dr. Tsakiris, also the head of the EKEM European Energy Policy Observatory, updated the progress of small-scale projects that will integrate the region in real terms with its European neighbors and lessen its energy dependence on Russia.
''Progress on South-East Europe's gas interconnectors, small pipelines that will link the region with the infrastructure of its developed neighbours, is a promising sign that these countries will become less dependent on Russian imports.
These developments should come to fruition in a much shorter time than what has been promised to them by the three large gas pipeline projects (ITGI, Trans-Adriatic and Nabucco), which are vying for control of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II field...
So energy diversification is within the region's reach if it can follow through on the gas interconnectors built, above all else, on the principle of a 'win-win' mentality."
"Serbia remains the Western Balkan country least interested in joining NATO despite recent improvement in relations with the Alliance and a booming arms industry...
President Tadic's recent statement that it is not possible to envisage Serbia aspiring to join NATO in the foreseeable future confirms that Serbia's political leadership will take no steps to persuade the public of NATO membership's desirability. They do not necessarily have to do so if they clearly outline the country's vision of security, aside from not allowing Kosovo to secede."