The always indispensable Vladimir Socor reports, writing on the Jamestown Foundations’ Eurasia Daily Monitor:
With Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s direct backing, Gazprom and other Russian energy companies have embarked upon an effort to co-opt Croatia into their projects, including a fanciful South Stream gas transport project. Putin has personally offered a package of energy projects to Croatia’s Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and President Stipe Mesic during informal meetings abroad on September 1 and September 25, respectively. Russian officials have followed up intensively at many levels since then (Vjesnik [Zagreb], September 19, 21). Moscow’s goal is to outflank Central Europe through Croatia, so as to block access routes for non-Russian energy supplies from Croatia’s Adriatic coast into Central Europe.