Promoting the South Stream today, Russia has once again showed its cunning dwarf that is unbecoming to a reputable big state. As in the case with the Ukrainian Crimea, the Kremlin enjoys a transitional period in the European Union, speculating about unmet national interests to "pressurize and outpress" the necessary decisions in the energy sector by individual European governments.

So Moscow, without wasting time, today has intensified its political, diplomatic efforts, geo-economic influence leverage and received from Austria, Serbia, Italy support in promoting the controversial South Stream, bypassing Ukraine. Bulgaria is still put on pause, at least until the completion of early elections in the autumn, but current projections indicate that the new Bulgarian government will be inclined to resume the South Stream on its territory.

It comes amid the reformatting of the governing bodies of the European Union, the complex internal processes in individual countries (it's about Bulgaria), the euphoria from the beginning of the EU presidency and high chance of getting an influential position in the field of a common European foreign policy with a candidate being promoted by Rome.

The fact that the European Commission recognized the South Stream as such that does not only meet the EU energy law, but also constitutes a threat to European energy security, is today perceived through the prism of normal business obstacles that in the near future can be overcome. Consequently, the chances of the gas pipe to bypass Ukraine at the current stage are growing.

However, there are a few dependent and non-dependent on Kyiv factors. Some of them have long been known and remain valid from the start of construction of the South Stream in 2012. They are associated with the traditional rhetoric of Russian propaganda about the poor technical condition of the Ukrainian gas transit system (GTS), the need to put in its modernization significant means of international investors, the inability of Ukrainian authorities to ensure a reliable and safe transit due to political instability and economic difficulties of the state. Today, those concerns are compounded by the military aggression by Russia and Moscow's destabilizing actions in the east of Ukraine.

But we cannot ignore the facts that at the current stage there are new circumstances which, unfortunately, objectively strengthen the position of the South Stream.

First, as it became known, this week during a closed meeting with representatives of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, next European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has not spoken against the South Stream. At least the Luxembourgish politician did not oppose the project, given that the issues of its conformity with European legislation in the field of energy are resolved.

Secondly, incumbent European Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger will continue its cadence in the new European Commission under the quota of Germany, it is possible that even on the position of its vice-president. Recent remarks by the German politician on the South Stream are also encouraging the Kremlin lobbyists.

And the most important thing. Some European experts say that the main problem of the South Stream is not complex international legal, geopolitical, geo-economic processes but the personal commitment of Putin to build this pipeline solely through political blackmail.

However, another strategy for promoting the project through the observance of civilized rules does not pose threats to the Kremlin gas lobby and is not "technically" difficult to implement. So, one of the claims of the European Commission is Gazprom's monopoly in the property assets and subsequent right of the pipe management that, under the European legislation, should be divided. Experts point out that for the Kremlin it is not so difficult to resolve this issue if they "share" securities of the "flow" with some European gas operators who are under the control of the Russian gas lobby in Europe. The only reason that still prevents from making it are the personal ambitions of Putin, who wants to continue to blackmail Europeans amid the fall in the level of confidence in the aggressive Russian policy and his personal reputation in the civilized world.