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Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

Russia’s energy blackmail

My big worry over Gazprom boss Dmitry Medvedev becoming president of Russia is his use of the country’s gas supplies as political weapons. Because we all know that’s what’s really going on with the current dispute with Ukraine – a revival of previous spats, and due to come to a head some time this afternoon, when the deadline runs out and Gazprom plans to cut off a quarter of Ukraine’s gas.

How do we know? Well why would Ukraine’s president be holding talks with Russia’s president if this is a dispute between a commercial organisation and a state, rather than two states? And do you think that Ukraine’s recent invitation to join the WTO and negotiations to join NATO are really unrelated?

Expect to see much more of this sort of thing over the next few years – especially now that Russia’s done a deal with Serbia to control the southern pipeline route into Europe…

Handy background from Ukraine blog Foreign Notes: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

More: EuroNews, International Herald Tribune, Radio Free Europe, AFP, Reuters, Le Figaro (FR), Les Echos (FR)