Saturday, January 10, 2009

Russia's goal in the gas dispute

If there were any lingering doubts about the real nature of the gas "dispute" between Russia and Ukraine, they will now have been dispelled by President Medvedev's latest statement on the matter. "Our goal is to show who is to blame for stealing gas," the Russian President is reported to have said. Thus, by repeatedly making this false accusation, the Russian government intends to publicly humiliate Ukraine, and to force the countries of the European Union to acquiesce in the humiliation. As observers have pointed out, the whole episode can serve as a warning to Europe that it needs urgently to formulate a united energy policy, to develop and cultivate alternative energy sources in order to reduce its dependency on Russia, which has now proved itself to be an unreliable supplier, and to reject illusory solutions like the Nord Stream gas project.

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