Russia's energy gambit fails

The Washington Post comments on Russia's outrageous attempt to blackmail democratic Ukraine (and by extension the rest of Europe dependent on Russian gas supplies).

...Vladimir Putin once again has overplayed his hand. In his zeal to reestablish Moscow's dominion over Ukraine, he has, as he did during the Orange Revolution, triggered an international crisis that could end up weakening rather than strengthening Russia's international position. Mr. Putin hoped that by shutting off gas supplies to Ukraine on Sunday, he could undermine its democratic and pro—Western government. Instead, he has provided a timely wake—up call to Western European countries dependent on Russian energy supplies. Those nations now see how Mr. Putin understands the question of "energy security," which he would make one of the principal topics for discussion by the Group of Eight this year.

We give the Post credit for this, and for noticing the connection with the new gas pipeline project

...when gas pressure fell off sharply yesterday in Vienna, Rome and Paris, it was Mr. Putin who was reproached —— including by such customers as Germany, which recently agreed to a controversial plan for a new pipeline under the Baltic Sea. Mr. Putin was forced to back down...

But strangely enough, the Post editorial ignores the corruption unherent in appointing former Chancellor Schroeder — the politician who pushed through German approval — to a lucrative executive position in constructing the pipeline. Coincidentally, Schroelder is a socialist who opposed America's Iraq policies.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Thomas Lifson  1 04 06

The Washington Post comments on Russia's outrageous attempt to blackmail democratic Ukraine (and by extension the rest of Europe dependent on Russian gas supplies).

...Vladimir Putin once again has overplayed his hand. In his zeal to reestablish Moscow's dominion over Ukraine, he has, as he did during the Orange Revolution, triggered an international crisis that could end up weakening rather than strengthening Russia's international position. Mr. Putin hoped that by shutting off gas supplies to Ukraine on Sunday, he could undermine its democratic and pro—Western government. Instead, he has provided a timely wake—up call to Western European countries dependent on Russian energy supplies. Those nations now see how Mr. Putin understands the question of "energy security," which he would make one of the principal topics for discussion by the Group of Eight this year.

We give the Post credit for this, and for noticing the connection with the new gas pipeline project

...when gas pressure fell off sharply yesterday in Vienna, Rome and Paris, it was Mr. Putin who was reproached —— including by such customers as Germany, which recently agreed to a controversial plan for a new pipeline under the Baltic Sea. Mr. Putin was forced to back down...

But strangely enough, the Post editorial ignores the corruption unherent in appointing former Chancellor Schroeder — the politician who pushed through German approval — to a lucrative executive position in constructing the pipeline. Coincidentally, Schroelder is a socialist who opposed America's Iraq policies.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Thomas Lifson  1 04 06