In the news today, although you’d hardly think so because of the Israeli / Palestinian conflict, is the story that the Ukraine can’t pay their gas bills. I apologise for it being a bit buried amongst the profits’ statements etc, but hey!, I didn’t write it.
- BBC – Gazprom sees profits jump by 85%
- GazProm – Gazprom reports its consolidated interim condensed financial results under International financial reporting standards (IFRS) for the six months ended 30 June 2008
- Pravda (english) – Ukraine tries to blame Russia for its own insolvency
- Vedomosti (google translation) – «Gazprom» has begun preparations for the «gas war» with Ukraine
However, please read the links. Within the blurb is the crushing realisation, like a deja vu, that the events in Georgia this last year, along with all the dire dependency that the West (especially Europe) has on Russian energy, still have not gone away. I’ve banged on about this for over a year now… It’s a sleeping, really obvious, giant, that we choose to ignore at our peril.
Today, only the four links above mention this news. The rest of the world is asleep, mesmerised by the Israeli weaponry. So lets look at it logically.
- Western European gets 45% (and rising) of it’s gas from Russia.
- My house is heated by gas and I live in Western Europe.
- Russian gas is managed by a “company” called GazProm.
- GazProm is very similar to US “companies” (especially now 😕) in that the political leaders (Putin, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Paulson) control the companies.
- Putin controls GazProm.
- GazProm can charge what they like for their gas – it’s a free market and the country (Russia) is well capable of looking after it’s interests defensively, and offensively.
- Ukraine can’t pay – they’ve run out of cash.
- The Ukraine will get cut off (again!!) in 2009.
- The gas for Western Europe goes through a pipeline – across the Ukraine.
And there we have it. And I did tell you so. In this post, Georgia, USA Trade & the Gas Bills, Repeating History & The Destroyer of Worlds , for instance! At the beginning of this year, Ukraine refused to pay thinking “The West” would back them up. Within a fortnight, the gas was cut off, Ukraine paid up, then the gas was back on!
Now we are back to square one except GazProm is richer, Putin has more power, the US is bankrupt and a new, unique, US President, has been served a dog’s dinner of an economic and political legacy and been asked to turn it into a banquet to satisfy all tastes.
As an aside, in the research for this article, I came across Pravda again. Each time I go there it gets more and more bizarre…. and I mean, bizarre.
It still has the constant haranguing of capitalism etc from it’s old paper output during the cold war. Some articles are pretty good, almost as good as mine 😉 ,…
But what is odd is two things;
- It’s got Google ads plastered everywhere!
- Lots of articles look like the National Enquirer or News of the World! I mean, it’s full of “bizarre pics” and provocative tabloid stories like;
etc, etc, etc.
Funnily enough, just as I was copying the link for the Ukraine news from Pravda, a ticker header flashed across the top of the screen;
You can’t make it up, can you?