quotes Energy & Environment Program Acting Director Mihaela Carstei on Russia's energy strategy in Europe:
But South Stream has had its own problems. Cost estimates have soared, in part because of the need to overhaul and expand part of Russia's domestic gas network. Some doubt whether the pipeline is really needed, given sluggish growth in demand for gas in Europe.
"South Stream from a commercial standpoint makes no sense," said Mihaela Carstei, the acting director of the energy and environment program at the Atlantic Council. She said it is more a way for Moscow to increase its energy hold over Europe without being hostage to a sometimes-unreliable go-between country such as Ukraine.