Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Reclaiming the satellites...

The Russian bear is flexing its commodity muscles to one of its former captive republics. I cannot emphasize enough that we are is an extraordinary environment and this article is yet another demonstration that the shift of perception amongst nations to realpolitik (active competition, exaggerated nationalism to protect incumbent governments, protectionism, etc.) from a more relaxed attitude of cooperation and free trade is extremely dangerous to average citizens of said nations.

Note the timing...just as winter is beginning.

I expect an avalanche of propaganda from nation states emphasizing sovereignity, national pride, and acts to create a feeling of serendipity ("thank goodness you, an average citizen, have your government to protect you from the bandits of the world").

Russia's Gazprom warns Ukraine to clear gas debts

MOSCOW (AFP) — Russian energy giant Gazprom said Sunday that Ukraine
had paid only part of its huge gas debt and threatened Kiev with a
more than double price hike unless all arrears were cleared this year.

"We already have the first payments (but) this is not yet the full sum
we agreed upon," Gazprom's spokesman Sergei Kupryanov told the state
television channel Rossiya.

The Russian firm says that Ukraine, which is severely dependent on
Russian gas, owes 2.4 billion dollars.

"Until the debt is settled, the only price we can speak of is the
European price, 400 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters. We see our task in
settling all problems with our Ukrainian colleagues before the New
Year," Kupryanov said.

Currently Ukraine pays Russia 179.5 dollars for 1,000 cubic metres of
gas, while for other European countries the price is set at around 400

Gazprom has threatened to cut supplies if the debts are not settled,
in a move that would risk a repeat of the interruptions to gas
supplies to Europe in 2006.

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