News
 International
   Global Views
   Asia-Pacific
   America
   Europe
   Middle East & Africa
 National
 Embassy News
 Arts & Living
 Business
 Travel & Hotel
 Medical Tourism New
 Taekwondo
 Media
 Letters to Editor
 Photo Gallery
 Cartoons/Comics/Humor
 News Media Link
 TV Schedule Link
 News English
 Life
 Hospitals & Clinics
 Flea Market
 Moving & Packaging
 Religious Service
 Korean Classes
 Korean Weather
 Housing
 Real Estate
 Home Stay
 Room Mate
 Job
 English Teaching
 Translation/Writing
 Job Offered/Wanted
 Business
 Hotel Lounge
 Foreign Exchanges
 Korean Stock
 Business Center
 PR & Ads
 Entertainment
 Arts & Performances
 Restaurants & Bars
 Tour & Travel
 Shopping Guide
 Community
 Foreign Missions
 Community Groups
 PenPal/Friendship
 Volunteers
 Foreign Workers
 Useful Services
 ST Banner Exchange
  Europe
Letters from Tokyo
EU Is Alarmed by Gas Dispute between Russia and Ukraine
By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent
EU is alarmed by gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine

Currently, the European Union (EU) is alarmed by the current energy dispute between the Russian Federation and the pro-American government of Ukraine. Therefore, the ongoing crisis between Russia's Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz is raising serious issues related to a viable energy policy for the EU. If a long-term solution can not be found, then the EU must take the guilty party to task or if the EU believes that both sides are equally guilty, then an alternative energy policy must be installed. So what is the likely outcome?

Before focusing on the current state of affairs between Gazprom and Naftogaz, it is clear that some political leaders in the EU are seeking other alternatives or methods to protect themselves from a future crisis. Therefore, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolanek, urged the 27-nation EU to look at other approaches. This applies to a 120-day strategic reserve of oil and natural gas in order to create "a cushion" for Europe. He further added, and both the Russian Federation and Ukraine should take note, that the EU should support the Nabucco natural gas pipeline. This pipeline would carry Caspian gas via a route which would bypass both nations. However, the geopolitical reality of the Nabucco natural gas pipeline does raise serious questions.

Therefore, it is clear that the stakes are very high and the Russian Federation and Ukraine have much to lose from the continuing crisis. So why is this issue so complex? From a Russian Federation point of view, then clearly the finger must be pointed at Ukraine. After all, it is the energy supplies of the Russian Federation which supports many European nations and clearly the Ukraine is a transit nation. This is a valid point of view and of course some see "the hand of America" behind this crisis.

The Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, stated that "Our European partners really have become hostage to the dispute between Russia and Ukraine." He made this comment while he met the prime ministers of Bulgaria, Moldova and Slovakia. He further commented that "No country has the right to take other countries hostage by taking advantage of its transit role." Putin also stated that

"European Commission officials could use their influence over Ukraine more to ensure the supply of gas."

The three prime ministers of Bulgaria, Moldova and Slovakia, who met Putin, made it clear that they do not want to get embroiled in the bilateral dispute between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. The Prime Minister of Bulgaria stated that "The worst thing for me is that millions of citizens of Europe feel like hostages and hundreds of thousands of people are really suffering." The Prime Minister of Moldova, Zinaida Greceani, also spoke about the terrible consequences of this dispute and how people in Moldova are suffering terrible hardship. However, the Slovakian Prime Minister, Robert Fico, did state that

Ukraine was "losing the trust" of its European partners.

Yet according to the Ukrainian President, Victor Yushchenko, it is abundantly clear that Moscow is to blame. Yushchenko commented that the "Ukraine can clearly prove it has no fault in this dispute. We have not cut gas deliveries, nor have we stolen gas. We will do all in our power to resume deliveries to Western Europe." He stated this in Poland and he further added that "Russia wants to undermine our credibility as a transit state for gas to Europe, but our technical system is sound."

The President of Ukraine also refuted that energy was being manipulated by Naftogaz. He made this claim by stating that "We've asked the European Union to examine the circumstances under which this crisis arose. If (Russia) claims we stole gas, it can take Ukraine to an arbitration court. There we can prove this is not true." Yushchenko also mentioned that the Ukraine was being treated unfairly by the Russian Federation. This applies to the fact that the Ukraine pays $450 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas it receives for domestic consumption compared with much lower prices for other nations.

The EU is obviously alarmed by events and clearly this crisis must be resolved and this applies to a long-term solution. Jose Manuel Barroso, European Commission President, stated clearly that "If the agreement is not honoured, it means that Russia and Ukraine can no longer be considered reliable partners for the EU in matters of energy supply." He also advised that if the current crisis in not resolved then European energy companies should sue Gazprom and Naftogaz. Barroso also commented that "The current situation is in short most unacceptable and incredible."

Yet to some people, the real "fingerprints" to this crisis can be found in the Bush administration in America. After all, this crisis, and the conflict in Gaza, is being played out in the final death throws of the Bush administration. Therefore both issues have tones of covert support from America. The same applies to America strengthening ties with Georgia last week. Therefore, the Deputy CEO of Gazprom, Alexander Medvedev, voiced concerns about the role of Washington in the current crisis. He stated that the Ukraine was "dancing to the music which is being orchestrated not in Kiev but outside the country." This comment was aimed at American meddling.

Overall, it would appear that both the Russian Federation and Ukraine are embroiled in a bigger dispute and this applies to either the containment of the Russian Federation, from a Russian perspective. Or from a Ukrainian perspective, this is about Russia trying to bully the Ukraine. Also, given the American, Ukrainian and Polish alliance, not to mention that Georgia could be used via a future energy pipeline; then the "hand of America" does appear to be behind this crisis. Yet the newly elected Obama, who will soon take power, may not be interested in continuing the work of Bush and he may decide to "reach out" to the Russian Federation? Therefore, time may be on the side of the Russian Federation?

However, the EU is not interested in these political games and instead they desire a viable energy policy which works, and not a policy which can be held to ransom. Therefore, the Russian Federation and Ukraine are playing a dangerous game if either nation or both nations are blamed for this crisis. Yet clearly it is a fact that the Ukraine is a transit nation and the Russian Federation did demand EU monitors. Also, the Russian Federation is in a stronger position because of their vast energy resources. So the "moral high-ground" does appear to belong to the Russian Federation and if Obama decides to move closer to the Russian Federation, then maybe the nation of Ukraine will "be left in the cold" in the long-term?

Lee Jay Walker
leejayteach@hotmail.com



Related Articles
    Drugs Crisis in Iran Emanating from Afghanistan
    Mexico Resembles a Civil War: Three Murders ...
    "Door Remains Open," French President Says
    President Trump and Ousted FBI Chief Comey: ...
    Moon Jae-in to Become President of South ...
    America, China, Russia Should Work Together on ...
    The Fading Spirit of Kano Chikanobu Awakened ...
    Japanese Poetry of Kakinomoto no Hitomaro: ...
    Trump Offers China Economic Inducements If ...
    Syria & Khan al-Assal Massacre: Western ...
    United States Botanic Garden and Stunning Art ...
    Syria: FSA and Al-Qaeda in Power Struggle
    Syria and the Sponsored Revolution Costing ...
    South Korean Fashion and Kpopsicle: Summer ...
    Syria and Shia Massacred by al-Nusra: Gulf and ...
    Turkey & Discontent towards Premier Erdogan: ...
    UK, MI5 and Syria: Hypocrites, Somalia and ...
    Christian Clergy in Syria Held Hostage by the ...
    China and Japan Play Cat and Mouse over ...
    Cameroon and Nigeria: French Hostages Released ...
    Alyse Radenovic, Bratunac and Srebrenica: Art ...
    Japanese Art and Bunjinga: Tani Buncho, Power ...
    Italian Fashion and Simonetta Sala: Adorable ...
    France, UK Want to Send Military Arms Directly ...
    Political Crisis in Tunisia after Belaid ...
    World of Art: Yuzo Saeki and Alyse Radenovic ...
    Nuclear Test by North Korea and Need for a ...
    Israel Violates the Sovereignty of Syria
    Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood: President Mursi ...
    Japan Art: Erotic Art, Sexuality and ...
    Algeria Hostage Crisis: Japan Needs to ...
    Syria and Bashar al-Assad Addresses Powerful ...
    US, France, UK Support Islamism
    LDP Wins Election in Japan
    FSA Islamists in Syria threaten to kill ...
    Syria Needs Support to Defend Itself against ...
    Egypt, Jordan and Turkey: Political Crisis and ...
    Japanese Art, Culture and the Yamabushi: ...
    Israel, Gaza and Doha: The Sham of the Western ...
    Syria & New Charade: Gulf Nations Should ...
    Japan and South Korea Relations: Comfort Women ...
    Tokyo Fashion and the Exquisite Boutique ...
    Sudan, South Sudan Crisis & Int'l Community
    Claude Monet Was Smitten by Japanese Art: ...
    Japan Tourism and Fukushima: Abukuma Cave, ...
    Japanese Art and Saburosuke Okada: the Power ...
    Japanese Art and Tosa School: Tosa Mitsunobu ...
    Syria and Terrorist Threat from Opposition: ...
    Russian Federation Lambasts Anti-Syria ...
    Syria: Outsiders Support Terrorism and US & ...
    Japanese Art and Bunjinga (Nanga): the ...
    Ontoshiki Is a Stunning Photographer in Tokyo: ...
    Japanese Art and Van Gogh: Japonisme, Ukiyo-e ...
    Associated Press Opens a Bureau in Pyongyang
    Fashion in South Korea: Kpopsicle & the trends ...
    Japanese Buddhist Art at the National Museum ...
    Japanese tourism: Jigokudani Monkey Park in ...
    South Korean Fashion: Kpopsicle, International ...
    BoA Releases Stunning New Song "Milestone"
    K-Pop and New Mini-Album Called "Snow Pink" by ...
    La Carmina and Tokyo: Alternative Fashion, ...
    K-Pop and T-ara in Japan: Stylish, Energetic ...
    Kanstyle Magazine to Open Up South Korean ...
    Tokyo Fashion: Jiyugoaka Is Trendy and a Great ...
    Korean Pop Music Continues to Hit Heights in ...
    Yoshihiko Noda to Become New Prime Minister of ...
    Japan and the Political Farce: The Race Is On ...
    Tokyo tourism: Mount Takao-san Is a Stunning ...
    Ryo Ishikawa: Near to Making a Breakthrough at ...
    Lindsay Ann Hawker: Verdict Is Life in Prison ...
    Hokusai & Hakone: Ukiyo-e & Stunning Scenery
    Lindsay Ann Hawker: Does the Joji Obara/ Kim ...
    Burma (Myanmar): Free Burma Rangers update
    Japan & Child Abduction: Interview with Sonia ...
    Novak Djokovic Beats Rafael Nadal to Claim ...
    Kawanabe Kyosai: the Underworld and the ...
    Tatsuya Ichihashi Admits to Killing Lindsay ...
    Utagawa Kuniyoshi: Tranquil Art and Natural ...
    Southern Thailand and Islamization
    Islamic Terrorism: Afghanistan to Bosnia and ...
    IslamicJihad within the Territory of Russia
    Muslims Burn a Christian Alive in Pakistan
    Radical Islam and Terrorism in the Balkans
    Pakistan and Ongoing Christian Persecution
    Turkey Is Trying to Dictate to Armenia
    Bosnia and Clinton's Radical Islamists
    Iraq's Jewish Identity Faces Extinction
    Muslims Slaughter Christians in Egypt
    Somalia and the Reality of Radical Islam
    Racist Ishihara Fails to Get 2016 Olympic Games
    Daily Life in Japan and Isolation
    USA and the Internal Islamic Threat
    Indonesia and Ba’asyir, the Preacher of Hate
    Nigeria and Christian Martyrs
    Indonesia and Islamic Terrorism
    Aceh in Indonesia Passes Stoning to Death Law
    2016 Olympic Bid and Racist Governor of Tokyo
    Randy Collins and Child Abduction in Japan
    Islamic Militants Target Buddhists in Thailand
    Bangladesh Destroys Hinduism, Buddhism
    Child Abduction in Japan: Shane Clarke Case
    Islamic Ramadan Begins, Blood Keeps Flowing
    Kosovo and Ongoing De-Christianization
    USA Appeases Islam under President Obama
    Somalia, UK, and Killing of Christians
    Buddhists Fear to Walk in Southern Thailand
    Pakistan Must Abolish the Blasphemy Law
    Pakistan and Burning Alive of Christians
    Nigeria Challenged by Radical Islamists
    Somalia and Christian Martyrs Killed by Muslims
    KOSOVO & Systematic Persecution by KLA
    Japan Ignores Child Abduction because of Racism
    Japan Allows International Child Abduction
    Ethiopia Continues to Develop under EPRDF
    Saudi Arabia and Why Child Marriage Is Allowed
    China Faces a Fresh Bout of Ethnic Hatred
    Islam and the Myths of Unity and Peace
    IRAN Enters a Political Minefield alongside ...
    Islam Needs to Be Challenged by True Democracy
    North Korea's Point of View
    Myanmar: Ethnic Minorities & Aung San Suu Kyi
    Colombia and Extrajudicial Killings Scandal
    IRAQ and the Destruction of the Mandaean ...
    Non-Arabs of the Middle East and Persecution
    USA Is Worried about Events in Pakistan
    USA, CIA Created Sunni Islamic Terrorism
    Pakistan Faces Internal Threat
    N. Korea Pulls Out of 6-Party Talks because of ...
    Japan under Ishihara Must Not Be Given the ...
    USA Is Looking at Plan Colombia in Order to ...
    MYANMAR – Karen Christians Face Joint ...
    Bolivia under Morales and the Indigenous Issue
    Mexico -- Drug Cartels and the American Market
    Saudi Arabia Allowing 8 Year Old Girls to ...
    USA -- Bail Outs Must Be Questioned after AIG ...
    Ethiopia under Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
    Europe Is Facing a Real Economic and Social ...
    USA is Deeply Concerned about Pakistan and ...
    USA -- Obama Is in Free Fall at the Moment
    Japan Must Not Be Rewarded the 2016 Olympics ...
    China, Russia Rebuke America at World Economic ...
    PAKISTAN -- Radical Sunni Islamists Are Now ...
    USA -- Obama Faces Major Internal and External ...
    Zimbabwe Now Faces Cholera Epidemic alongside ...
    Pakistan and the Persecution of Ahmadiyya ...
    USA -- President Bush Is Trying to Contain ...
    India Becomes Yet Another Major Victim of ...
    Japan Needs to Create an Independent Foreign ...
    Mongolia and The Importance of This Nation to ...
    Islamic Radicals Support Stoning Women, ...
    Inflation Threatens to Engulf Vietnam and The ...
    Turkey and The Secular Card, Myth or Reality?
    Ethiopian Ambassador to Japan and Third ...
    SOUTH AFRICA, Race Attacks and Underlying ...
    EGYPT -- Coptic Christians Are Still ...
    Ethiopia Needs International Support to ...
    Armenia and Azerbaijan Are Still in Dispute ...
    Kosovo and the Crisis of Ignoring ...
    The UN Is Undemocratic and Manipulated, So ...
    America Is Seeking to Contain the Russian ...
    Iran Is a Stabilizing Power in Afghanistan and ...
    Venezuela -- Chavez the Enigma, a Great or ...
    Lebanon Needs to Dismantle the Armed Forces of ...
    Iraq and Destruction of Christianity since ...
    Bolivia Is Facing Meltdown So Can a Solution ...
    Macedonia Could Become the Next Balkan ...
    Russia Faces Many Security Concerns
    State Intervention Versus Globalization and ...
    Ethiopia and Its War against Radical Islam and ...
    PM Fukuda of Japan Resigns and This Nation Is ...
    Japan Needs Stability in a Time of Urgency
    Russia Responds to America's Intimidation
    Russian Federation & Next Stage of Development ...
    Market Confidence Remains Extremely Mixed
    Why China Needs to Modernize Her Armed Forces
    MEXICO -- President Calderon Is in a Flux ...
    Iran and America, Friends or Foe
    Georgia Took a Huge Gamble in South Ossetia ...
    Japan and the Suicide Problem
    Zimbabwe: Can Morgan Tsvangirai, Arthur ...


Lee Jay Walker serves as Tokyo Correspondent of The Seoul Times. He specializes in int'l relations and geopolitics. He is also involved in analyst work and research on business. After finishing BA degree in East European Studies at the University of London, He earned MA degree in Asia Pacific Studies in Nottingham Trent University. He also studied business at London Institute.

 

back

 

 

 

The Seoul Times Shinheungro 25-gil 2-6 Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04337 (ZC)
Office: 02-555-6188 Email:seoultimes@gmail.com
Copyrights 2000 The Seoul Times Company  ST Banner Exchange