Europe is dependant on Russian oil and gas. The â‚¬10 billion pipeline is planned to run from Russia under the Black Sea, cross Bulgaria from east to west and then branch to Serbia and Hungary and to Italy under the Adriatic. Italy's energy company Eni is a partner in the project. South Stream is seen as a rival to the EU-sponsored Nabucco project, which will link Caspian Sea deposits with Europe and will also run across Bulgaria. It will provide an alternative supply for the Black Sea country, which is now entirely dependent on Russian gas. The Russians are also having an undersea pipeline for North Europe i.e. to Germany. In short, Putin has ensured that Europe is beholden to Russia for survival during their cold winters and is cleverly using it as an 'economic strategic tool'. It will ensure that Russia is not taken as an 'also ran'. A neat way to climb back to being a superpower!