Saturday, January 10, 2009
John Simpson Channel 4 News
All a matter of grammatical inflection isn't it? When Ukraine refused to pay for its gas Russia stopped supplying it. Ukraine's answer was to steal the gas sent in for through shipment to other countries which, in turn, left Russia with no option to stop supplying gas that wasn't being received
Thus technically Simpson wasn't lying - Russia has cut it off, though it hasn't cut off gas supplied through Belarus, but by downplaying the qualification he & our media generally, are lying.
Russia have fulfilled their contracts & proven they are not "playing politics" with gas. The Ukrainian government are thieves. It is as simple as that. The Ukrainians are relying on the fact that their government is considered a western satellite, coming to power in an election bought & paid for by western intelligence & organised by western psychological warfare teams. Just like Serbia & Georgia in fact.
Were the country stealing from us not our satellite there is no question that NATO & the EU would have been spitting blood. If we were buying BMWs from Germany, shipped via the Channel Tunnel we would not remain silent if half of them disappeared in Calais.
This is all because of a new & pointless cold war against Russia. The whole point of the cold war was alleged to be to stop the Russians having armies in central Europe & instead adopting capitalism & free trade so that we could all be friends & experience the "end of history". Well they did, they did & we didn't. Maybe it is just governments relentless seeking after hobgoblins to keep us in line but there is clearly threat from Russia & no real reason not to trust that contracts will not be kept (at least no reason on our side).
If NATO/EU were to simply say that Ukraine has a legal duty mot to steal our gas & that they should stop doing so then they, being in a minority of one, would have to do so.
If that were to lead to the fall of their corrupt government in what way would that actually be a loss to us? A competent trustworthy neighbour is in our interests as well as Russia's. We should stop playing games. Europe is going to have enough problems keeping the lights on because of our self inflicted anti-nuclear Luddism without making things worse.
It may be cynical of me but I suspect if the pipeline through Belarus, which supplies Germany were not working perfectly well & if it were not merely the weaker Balkan countries being cut off there would be action. A couple of years ago NATO unilaterally claimed to redefine "self defence" as including the right to attack any country which wouldn't sell them energy at a price they liked - that was a threat aimed at Russia (at a time when Russia's army looked less effective than now) but refusing to lay down the law (literally) to Ukraine makes them shifty as well as weak - never a good idea to look both at the same time.
Mind you they are doing the minimum:
To try to restart supplies, the EU proposed yesterday that it should send independent monitors to watch the dials on the pipes at Ukraine's borders. Russia claims that Ukraine is taking gas it has not paid for from the pipelines, reducing the onward supply to Europe. It has responded by cutting supplies in the pipeline by the amount it says Ukraine is stealing.
Meanwhile global warming continues apace
Temperatures plunged to record lows in Germany and heavy snow forced normally sunny Marseille to close its international airport as freezing winter weather gripped much of Europe on Wednesday.
Port authorities in the Dutch city of Rotterdam deployed an icebreaking ship for the first time 12 years, while in Britain forecasters issued a new severe weather warning.
Though in a recent Google newsearch I found only 20,000 mentions of "global warming" & 38,000 of "climate change" so the rebranding certainly goes on apace.
And a cheer for common sense (not reported by John Simpson) in Bulgaria because of this.
In Bulgaria, which switched off most of its nuclear reactors ahead of its accession to the E.U. in 2007, President Georgi Parvanov has called for the temporary reactivation of at least one disabled nuclear reactor to help the country meet its heat and power needs as the dispute continues.
2.The Ukraine could simply build another reactor at the Chernobyl site since the area is already contaminated. A new reactor would eliminate the need to steal.
2 Ukraine gets a lot of aid because of Chenobyl. Also Bulgaria, Lithuania & Slovakia had to close their reactors as a condition of EU membership (though B&S are saying they have to restart them now). The shortage of nuclear power is entirely a political rather than technical problem.