Monday, January 02, 2006

Putin's Vindictiveness In Russia's Energy Policy

From the Telegraph.

With a quarter of its gas supplied by Russia, Europe is facing serious disruption and price rises for as long as the dispute rumbles on.

Moscow turned off the tap at 10am after Ukraine refused to sign a new contract with the Russian state monopoly Gazprom quadrupling prices.

Critics of the Kremlin say the rise was punishment for the Orange Revolution in 2004 which brought in a westward-leaning government that promised to remove Ukraine from the Kremlin's sphere of influence.

The American State Department said that "such an abrupt stop creates insecurity in the energy sector in the region and raises serious questions about the use of energy to exert political pressure".

No state's energy security should be dependent upon the good behavior of other states. Look at the quote from the U.S. State Department. This incident "raises serious questions..." That is wrong. Oil-rich countries have the power to wreak havoc with countries that depend upon them, and until that dependence is gone, we are not free of their ability to ruin our economies in a very short time.


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