January 14, 2009 (the date of publication in Russian)

Alexander Rublev


Gas crisis: the USA grabbed the EU neck by the hand of "orange" Kiev

In the situation when global crisis gains ground and world financial system is waiting for more and more shocks, the USA needs absolute loyalty of its European allies. Any means are good to provide this loyalty. Maybe any other time the USA would resort to some difficult long-term diplomatic tactics. But in present the USA has no time for maneuvers of that kind. And it seems like Washington decided there's no need bothering about mercy with partners, as the USA needed to use fast and clear methods, even if they turn to be rude to indecency.

Recently "a great strategist" Zbigniew Brzezinski sent rather painful signal to Europeans by offering to create the "Group of 2" (G2), which would consist of the USA and China. According to Brzezinski, who has created preconditions for cooperation of the USA and China 30 years ago and organized Deng Xiaoping's visit to the USA, Washington and Beijing must unite and formulate the rules for other participants of global process. Split in the insight, partly controlled by the USA, the EU can only have a claim for the role of a second-rate player, but nothing more.

But in particular the problem is that the influence of Anglo-American world center over continental Europe has its limits, even though London and Washington would like to make it absolute. The yearning for making EU energy security dependent on the US military "fist" has been a strategic aim for a long time already. That's actually why many European mass media, owned by global media-oligarchy, have been intimidating the EU by "Russian energy threat". That's actually why the EU was offered to reject getting blue fuel from stable and predictable Russia and rely on the deliveries from Caspian countries, which can "burst out" anytime, if their "Big American Brother" makes some efforts for that.

But now "Washington regional committee" has obviously decided to go another way. Why make Europe search some new ways for energy recourses transport, if you can take control over old ones (and block them if needed)? Why wait till alternative routes, which will avoid Russia, will be built, if you simply are able to "sit" on Ukrainian pipeline?

What makes us think that way? The fact, that Ukrainian negotiators don't want to undertake anything about the gas question, without coordinating it with the US consultants, isn't a secret for anyone. During last two weeks Yushchenko has done everything possible to reduce the reliability of Ukrainian reputation as a transit country to zero.

But he isn't an enemy of his own country, or, at least, of his closest kinsmen, who get super-profits from the gas business. Yushchenko definitely wouldn't bite the hand that feeds his clan. If such a weak-willed and indecisive man as Victor Andriyovych had found courage to make such an unprecedented step, as stopping gas transit to Europe on January 14, already after Gazprom renewed the supply, Americans definitely must have promised him something so great, that he forgot about prudence.

Most probably, they were talking about transferring the control over Ukrainian GTS to the US energy consortium, accepting the interests of Yushchenko clan. By the way, legal foundation for the act like this was created already in December 2008, when the Charter on strategic partnership of Ukraine and the USA was signed. 3.2 point of the very document says that both countries recognize "the importance of a well functioning energy sector" and " intend to work closely together on rehabilitating and modernizing the capacity of Ukraine’s gas transit infrastructure".

Of course, that kind of development of the situation can't but stress the EU. An intensive "educative work" is required for European partners to comprehend the present situation correctly. Such a work is now being made by Ukrainian Naftogaz.

The situation, which now occurred on Ukrainian gas "battlefront", reminds classic gangster trickery. There is a wide-spread trick in a criminal world: at the beginning future racket victim gets winded round by a gang of lame-brained hooligans, who break or shoot windows of his shops or undertake other actions to scare the future "client". After negotiators come to a cowed business owner and give a good advice: to ask Mafiosi head for help, as he can shut them down easily. And then the shopkeeper, scared to death, comes to a "big don" himself to ask for help and offer money for that.

You can't but agree that this scenario fits the description of the last phase of the gas conflict perfectly. Yushchenko's administration plays the part of a bully, who gives straight instructions to the government of Naftogaz. And the victim of racket is the EU, which couldn't expect such an unbearably mean trick from "young Ukrainian democracy" till the every last moment.

According to the scenario, after suffering through January and maybe also February frost (as Kiev might prevent the gas supply from time to time, making reference to technical impossibility of providing transit), honest Europeans will have to apply to the US "don". But from the other side, Europe has a choice – ask "Mafiosi boss" and its orange Kiev "yes man" to leave. And then say honestly, who really is the one to blame in the present force majeure, and begin building mutually beneficial alliance with the Russian Federation.

Thus Europeans have choice. They simply have to make it right – if they don't want to turn into dependent and second-rate player of the global politics.

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