Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Gas deliveries to EU countries through Ukraine have now been cut 'about seven times less than the norm' according to Gazprom.

The EU has called the cuts 'unacceptable', but just what they mean by 'unacceptable' is anyone's guess. And at the same time the EU still refuses to get involved with the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.

This is a fine example of the policy paralysis that makes the EU so impotent on the world stage. Europe has less collective clout than they did when they were separate nations, so it has to be asked, what is the EU really for?

Years of blindly supporting US policies towards Iran, Russia, and the Middle East has meant growing energy insecurity. The only reasonable partial substitute for Russian gas is Iranian gas, but as Switzerland found out, Europe can't go there without obtaining permission from Israel and the US.

It's going to be increasingly difficult for European countries, and thus the EU, to sell such impotence to their populations. But change will take years, and until then the EU may as well jump into the negotiations with Russia and Ukraine, and find out just how much more they will have to pay. They are just not ready to play hardball.


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