It was quite amusing to watch all of the artificial fuss about the colour revolution in Ukraine last year.
None of it really mattered. Which is why the Russians after an initial disappointment stood by and let it happen. Veteran observers knew what was coming. Which has now arrived.
The Ukrainians have been buying gas from the Russians at heavily subsidised prices since their days as part of USSR. How heavily subsidised? Try one-fifth of market price ($50 per 1000 m3).
Russian President Vladimir Putin has told the Ukraine that if they don’t pay $230 per 1000 m3, no more gas. He means it.
What are his goals?
- To destroy his political enemies (rapidly rising energy prices or cold houses don’t make a government any friends in winter) political capital.
- To force the United States to bear the burden of subsidising the Ukraine, further extending the American’s own financial problems brought on by their invasion and occupation of Iraq (and the absurd wartime tax cuts).
It’s quite a neat move and will cost the Americans money, destroy their puppet government in the Ukraine and put the rest of the region on notice that if they irritate Russia enough, to expect cold comfort.
The Americans deserve it. One can’t go around making promises to all the pretty girls, deliver to none of them and not expect fall out.
Neatly done by President Putin.
For a Western slanted take on the Ukranian gas and pipeline issues, see the BBC.