Meanwhile, In Russia…

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Bad Decisions, Energy, Gas, Russia

Yesterday they cut off their natural gas supply to the Ukraine. Completely.

That also means the supply to numerous European countries has been severely diminished.

From AP:

The Russia-Ukraine natural gas dispute hit Europe with the force of a winter storm Tuesday, cutting or limiting supplies to nearly a dozen nations. Tens of thousands of people were left without heat and governments scrambled to find alternate energy sources.

Shocked by how fast the shortages were spreading, the European Union demanded a quick end to the dispute — a sharp turnaround from their earlier stance, when officials had downplayed the conflict between Moscow and Kiev as primarily a business matter.

A business matter? Ha! That’s rich.

But hey, ya gotta love those free markets, eh? Free to do anything they damn well please…

But by Tuesday evening, gauges on delivery pipelines to six countries — including some depending totally on Russian gas — were pointing toward zero and an increasing number of other nations reported significant reductions. [...]

Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Croatia and Turkey all reported a halt in gas shipments, and even France, Germany, Austria and Poland reported substantial drops in supplies from Russia.

I’m so glad we ignored Russia the past 8 years and focused instead on detaining and torturing people who may or may not have boasted they knew how to build a shoe bomb for six year.

More as it develops…


This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 and is filed under Bad Decisions, Energy, Gas, Russia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Meanwhile, In Russia…”

  1. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    But hey, ya gotta love those free markets, eh? Free to do anything they damn well please…

    I don’t get that line. Russia’s state-owned Natural Gas company takes orders from the Kremlin to cut off supplies to Europe for political reasons. I’m assuming you support free markets in this case, since this problem never would have arose in the first place under a free-market system? (Actually I’m not assuming that, because I believe you are just blowing a lot of hot air.)

    I’m so glad we ignored Russia the past 8 years and focused instead on detaining and torturing people who may or may not have boasted they knew how to build a shoe bomb for six year.

    Don’t worry, Obama will re-open the embassy in Russia, and finally assign an embassador there, and all those maps in the white house that don’t have Russia on them will be replaced.

    I’m actually glad Obama didn’t say anything substantial about Israel/Palestine as he might have “lost focus” on the Ukraine Issue, which of course, the United States can resolve easily and quickly (somehow, I don’t know how but Obama probably does), as long as the executive branch doesn’t address other issues like what to do when you capture terrorist suspects.

  2. kranky kritter Says:

    OK let me get this straight. The story is that Russia has shut off natural gas supplies to Ukraine. And as analysis, your intelligent comments are directed at the following points:

    •complaining about the ideology that suggests free markets have merit

    •suggesting that if only America had not invaded Iraq an pursued terrorists, we’d be in a better spot to make Russia do what WE want

    That’s pretty weak. As to point one, please notice or recall that a HUGE part of free market ideology, such as it is, speaks directly to the absolute necessity of a stable rule of law for expeditiously resolving disputes. I’m no free market ideologue, far from it, but I at least know that.

    As to point two, first I have a question. Why does it seem like such an obvious necessity these days to those who lean progressive to connect every other negative event on the planet to the American invasion of Iraq, our pursuit of terrorists, and the general notion that America is the primary source of negative global outcomes?

    Can’t we at least start a discussion about this issue by acknowledging that this is primarily a conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and then move on to notice that throughout most of recent history, even when America was closely focused on the Soviet union/Russia, they generally have managed to do what they wanted to do even when it wasn’t what we wanted them to do?

    The argument that if only America wasn’t distracted by X it could have quickly fixed Y is IMO an easy, weak, and crappy argument, and a poor substitute for genuine insight and plausible solutions. Diplomacy is like cat herding. Contra you suggestion, passion, committment, and focus do not make cat herding that much more successful. Just as often, they get you a scratch on the arm.

  3. J. Harden Says:

    I love this post, Justin. Thank you. Please, more of them just like this — simply brilliant. You should honestly get sometype of journalistic/economic award for insight.

    Yes, Gazprom is a shining example of the free-market at work. But hey, pretty soon we are going to have a VERY SIMILAR institution. Just as Gazprom is so interwined as to be an apparatus of the Russian State, so to will GE have that cozy equity relationship with our own federal government.
    It is called fasicism, not free markets. Somebody buy this boy a book.

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