Friday, August 01, 2008

Game, set, match

MK Bhadrakumar looks at the details and implications of a deal that Russia's Gazprom just signed with Turkmenistan.
Gazprom, Russia's energy leviathan, signed two major agreements in Ashgabat on Friday outlining a new scheme for purchase of Turkmen gas. The first one elaborates the price formation principles that will be guiding the Russian gas purchase from Turkmenistan during the next 20-year period. The second agreement is a unique one, making Gazprom the donor for local Turkmen energy projects. In essence, the two agreements ensure that Russia will keep control over Turkmen gas exports.
Gazprom will be paying a lot more than they did to Turkmenistan, but they have locked up the gas for twenty years. Russia will be delivering the gas to Europe, and participate in it's distribution to China.

The US had hoped to bring Turkmenistan's gas to Europe via the proposed Nabucco gas pipeline, without any gas it will probably never be built. The fantasy of building a pipeline through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India may now be buried, as well.

The Europeans are now almost wholly dependent on Russia for natural gas. Their only alternative is Iran, but Europe's slavish obedience to Washington keeps that possibility from being realized.

Cheney's militaristic strategy is in shambles. The US has expended huge sums of money on military bases that serve no earthly purpose, wars grind on in Iraq and Afghanistan, while Russia and Central Asia sit back and count their Euros.

This story has been almost totally unreported in the US, I wonder why.


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