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  • Will Somebody Please Turn on the Gas?

    The ongoing row between Russia and Ukraine over natural gas supplies to Europe appears to be deepening. This comes just days after the European Union announced what was supposed to be a breakthrough agreement to get gas flowing again to at least 15 European countries, leaving millions in the cold.

    EurActiv.com reports that the ongoing crisis between Moscow and Kiev appears to be a strategy of “delusion, reminiscent of the Cold War.”

    Along those lines, an official at the Russian state gas monopoly Gazprom went so far as to accuse the U.S. of meddling in what has become a serious political crisis, going so far as to say “It looks like [the Ukrainians] are dancing [to] music that is not orchestrated in Ukraine.”

    The EurActiv.com story also notes that there could now be added political as well as economic fallout for both countries:

    “The standoff is now turning into a deep political crisis in Ukraine, after Moscow and Kiev exchanged accusations that shattered the credibility of Russia as an energy supplier and of Ukraine as a reliable partner to the West.”

    In a recent interview with Mike Schneider of Bloomberg TV, outgoing Secretary of State Rice seconded the notion that Russia’ credibility as an energy supplier has been severely tarnished in the feud, “Europe cannot continue to be dependent on Russian oil and gas or they’re going to get into these problems from time to time.”

    The Wall Street Journal reports today that the Bulgarian and Slovakian prime ministers are to meet with their counterparts in Moscow and Kiev, in a trip apparently uncoordinated by the European Union.

    The WSJ also points out just how high the stakes are for states heavily dependent on Russia for energy supplies:

    “Bulgaria, which depends on Russia for virtually all its gas, has barely two days of reserves. Slovakia has vowed, despite EU objections, that it was ready to restart an aging Soviet nuclear power plant if gas supplies aren’t restored quickly.”

    Regardless of whether gas is flowing by Inauguration Day in the U.S., this is sure to be an early test for American foreign policy under the Obama Administration, as well as an ongoing challenge for the new Czech EU presidency.

    Mr. Bell is a U.S. Fulbright Fellow to Austria, and MPA student at Seattle University.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to Will Somebody Please Turn on the Gas?

    1. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      Russia is on the march. They are going to exert power over Europe using oil and gas as the levers. They have already demonstrated their capability to disrupt the pipeline going through Georgia. European Union will disintegrate. In addition to the energy problems, some of the member countries are going to face credit degradation.

      European elitists' allegiance to the anthropogenic global warming and socialism have driven them into the hands of the Russians. The new administration of the US and its long march towards socialistic energy policies that has effectively killed fossil fuel production and nuclear power can not help the breakaway EU countries.

      By the way, how come the renewable energy sources such as wind and solar haven't come to the European rescue? I thought that Europeans were so far ahead of us in the installation of those sources. May be we should send Mr.Pickens to Europe to make them energy independent.

    2. michaela, canada says:

      To learn more about shale plays occuring in Europe, visit the blog http://realm-energy.com

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