Russia now in charge?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by datumhead, Jan 8, 2007.

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  1. Much as I detest Dear leader he does seem to have started a debate on a Nucular Power Generation future.
    I am assure by an expert who have studied the subject that for all the potential hazards it is the way to go.
  2. It's a pity all the hard-pressed satellite states can't band together and slap a transport tax on the ruksies. If they ALL did it, rather than just one country, ruskiville would have to negotiate, but at this time, they are simply playing the old divide and conquer card.

    You vill take ze oil (sorry for the germanski) or ve vill ship eet via ze udder countries.
  3. 10 years ago it was decided to form a union of Russia and Belorus. But still a process of creation of a common state is on initial stage (for many reasons). Russian ruling elite fears Belorussian president Lukashenko who doesn't hide his ambitions to be a leader of the Union.

    There will be parliamentary elections in Russia this year and presidential ones in 2008. So the gang of oil&gas barons (including mr.Chelsky and his ilk) tries to worsen relations between Russia and Belarus.

    It should be noted that Russian military and secret services (almost openly) support pres.Lukashenko (Belarussian ones of course support him too). Salaries in Belarussian army and KGB are twice higher than in Russia. So many in Russian military see Lukashenko as a good leader.

    As to the formal cause of these games around oil&gas then it is quite easy - money. Belarus is still an idependent country. So why should it enjoy low prices for gas? Also there is oil expot tax in Russia (something like 42 euro for metric ton). It is internal Russian business because Russian companies are paying it to Russian state. But there was an exception - export to Belarus. So two huge Belarusian oil refinery plants had excellent possibilities to produce cheap benzine (and sell it to other countries) and as a result pres.Lukashenko had ability to pay big enough salaries to his servicemen.

    Now the exception has been removed, gas prices doubled (though they are more than twice lower than in Europe) and pres.Lukashenko decided to extract additional $4.5 billions to compensate his losses by imposing a new transit tax. But Belarus is receiveing payments for transportation and Russian side disagees with new tax that directly contadicts signed agreements about tax-free trade between Russia and Belarus. If it is discarded then it would mean a collapse of Belarussian economy because Russia is the main (on mant positions the only) market for Belarussian goods.

    It should be said in this context that Druzhba oil-pipe-line is old and needs new investments. But Russia is bulding new huge oil terminals on its Baltic coast. So the pipeline could be closed later or sooner.

    How it will end? Who knows? Likely (as ever) under-carpet agreement will resolve the crisis. Russia is much stronger economically, so pres.Lukashenko is unable to win but... but what if the West would support 'the last Europen dictator'? It would be an interesting twist.

    PS. Just have seen this article.
  4. Ah Sergey there you go again - most of Belarus is Poland - it is that part of Poland seized when the USSR invaded on 17th September 1939 under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

    I know the Soviet Union left it for the Germans after June 1941 but insisted on having it back at Yalta and did not seem inclined to give it back to Poland or to return the 2.000.000 Poles the NKVD had shunted off to Siberia between 1939 and fact it was only the Wehrmacht rolling into Russia that made the NKVD take a break
  5. Ah Voyager where is a true border between Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia? It is a very difficult question. In 17th century even Russian city of Smolensk (and the region) was Polish. But in 18th century significant part of Poland fell into Russian control. Vilno (now Vilnyus) is a capital of Lithuania now but Vilno region had predominantly Polish population (it is btw a homeland of parents of my Grandmother). Some cities (as Pinsk for example) were predominantly Jewish. There are many mixed families. I mentioned my Grandmother, a Catholic. She married my Grandfather Ukrainian, Orthodox Christian. and his sister married a brother of my Grandmother. My Grandmother eventually became Orthodox Christian but her sister (also married a Ukrainian) remained a firm Catholic.

    There was only one reliable way to draw a true border: use language and religion. Though Polish city of Belostok (and its area) is populated mainly by Orthodox Christians. And there are many Poles (Catholics) in Belorussia as well (in Lida region for example).
  6. Another part fell into Austrian hands; and another part fell into Prussian hands.........................and suddenly there was no Poland any more..................until 1918.

    Strange that....................Partitioning does that to places
  7. When the map of Europe (and the 'Near' and 'Middle' East)was re-drawn at the Paris Peace Conference it was clearly no easy job. The Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires were no more. Poland re-appeared after an absence; Lithuania re-appeared after an even longer absence...there was Latvia, Estonia etc.

    Woodrow Wilson rejected the idea of moving people, preferring to move lines on maps in pursuit of a self-dtermination that was not always catographically determinable because the demise of multinational empires meant that there were not always simple lines that could be traced. Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia were ethnic patchworks, Germany lost something like 10% of its 1870 land and 12% of its population adding a 'patch' to a few countries Hitler was going to covet - East Prussia chief among them - as the lines on the map moved but people didn't.

    While you can see why Wilson didn't want to uproot people after the trauma of war and influenza epidemic, possibly the only chance recent history offered to 'tidy up' Europe was missed. The 1990s breakup of both Czechoslovakia (peacefully) and Yugoslavia (violently) are a legacy of Paris as, arguably, are the German and Soviet invasions of Poland in 1939: the German one was to get East Prussia back, the Molotv-Ribbentrop Pact was designed to facilitate that. That led, chronologically if not causationally, to 1941; that led to the Westward movement of the Soviet border and the consequent Westward movement of the Polish border.

    Perhaps you can see the Yanks as much to blame as the Russians for the geopolitical shape of modern Europe...
  8. Its fascinating how energy has become such a strategic concern of late.

    It wasnt even on the radar several years ago.
  9. Not quite so important then perhaps but always there. Post WWII has been the cause of many a local conflict and shite foreign policy from the mid 1950's onwards.

    There is a strong school of thought which says that Oil/Energy Wars will dominate the first half of this century and drive foreign policy of the US, Russia, China and India.

    Water/Food wars are thought likely to dominate the second half, which is a cheerful prospect. Glad I do not believe in reincarnation.
  10. Forgive me if I am wrong, but didn't the eu push Russia to up the prices to the other states, thus breaking the trade agreements they had signed? Something to do with Germany and France having to pay full market price for their gas supply. Most of europe is bled out as far as fossil fuels go, Germany was burning brown coal in the 90s. The UK is one of the only european countries with any sizeable fossil fuel stocks due to Maggie's closure of the pits. She may have done the country a favour after all!
  11. Well, not quite. There are some who have been concerned about the strategic vulnerability of energy source and supply for a few years now.

    But there is going to be real confrontation when it comes to water. You can survive (just) without some forms of energy, but without water you'll certainly die. The same thing applies to nations. Note the effects of the desperate shortages of water in what were once regarded as the most fertile crop-growing regions. When Saddam diverted water away from the southern marshes in Iraq he knew exactly that.

    I fully expect the price of water in the UK to double within five years.
  12. The cost of water in England will go through the roof cum Scotland's departure from the Union.
  13. Bottled Water?