RUSSIA - Gas Cut Off - Plays of Power
UPDATE for January 7, 2009, further down !
Europe - Gas Shortage PredictedNatural gas supply to Europe could be endangered as Russia is decided to stop further gas supply to Ukraine by the beginning of January 2009. While Russia delivers a quarter of European gas, 80% flowing through the Ukraine, this should effect gas prices in Europe. A similar situation was observed in 2006 after Ukrainian consumers had been cut off from Russian gas supply for the same reason as now: increasing paying debts. In the aftermath of a global financial crisis that has just been softened by joint global efforts, the Ukrainian situation might be even worse than in 2006.
[Reports from China's Renmin Ribao online, December 20, and Al-Jazeera, December 23]
Russia - Plays of PowerWhen Putin now declares that the extraction of cheap gas is reaching its end, this should be seen in the frame of a new alliance, just being forged between Russia and several oil and gas producing states. That alliance, comprising Iran and Venezuela as its most essential pillars, would then represent the most powerful counterweight to the traditional economic and military alliance between the U.S. and Western Europe. Already equipped with Russian weapons, both states migth soon find themselves united in their enmity against U.S influence under the supervision of Russia. As both countries are being supported either by influential Islamic groups within their own region (Iran) or by a local Latin American alliance (Venezuela), Putin's coup could therefore lead to a revival of Russia's power and glory, known from the days of the former Soviet Union.
بوتين يقول إن عصر الغاز الرخيص يوشك على الانتهإ
When, at the same time, Russia accuses its neighbour and NATO candidate Georgia of practising genocide in South Ossetia, Putin is adding just another action intended to show the U.S. their limits.
روسيا تتهم جورجيا بارتكاب إبادة جماعية في أوسيتيا الجنوبية
UPDATE January 7, 2009:
Today, it became clear to the German government that the actual delivery stop of Russian gas to the Ukraine would effect the gas delivery to Western Europe as well. Even though German energy supply is buffered by huge amounts of stored gas volumes and other ways of delivery, both, the minister of economy Glos and federal chancellor Merkel are showing their concern about the actual situation that is simultaneously affected by a sudden period of very low temperatures in Germany. The situation of Germany's neighbour Poland is even more desolate.
It should be added that all important commercial energy agencies from Germany had observed the Moscow talks about the creation of an international union of gas supplying countries in December. Even though the recent development was already touchable at that time, those agencies gave no warning. Maybe, some German experts are still relying on "comrade" Gerhard Schröder, former German chancellor, close friend to former KGB agent Vladimir Putin and, now, important contact between German economy and Russia's state owned GAZPROM.
In fact, the first news of a delivery stop to Ukraine by the beginning of 2009 had already been launched at a press conference on December 18, 2008 as was reported by a Chinese source (i.e. network of the Chinese metal-processing industry) on the very next day.