Ukraine's Blackmail – Danger of Zugzwang / News / News agency Inforos
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Ukraine's Blackmail – Danger of Zugzwang

The gas scandal in Ukraine is taking not only an indecorous but already threatening shape.

The Ukrainian leadership (I repeat for slow-witted persons: the Ukrainian leadership but not Ukraine) defying all norms of the international law, all business arrangements and international contracts openly pumps the Russian natural gas out of export pipelines Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod, Progress and Soyuz. In so doing, it is not going to repay its gas debt and conclude any gas purchase contract. It is not just an overt stealing but a political and economic blackmail of Russia, which in the opinion of “the orange duet” will surrender in any case and fall on to its kneels to Ukraine.

The gas debt of Ukraine is rocketing. Default!? Ukraine soon will have to use not only its currency and gold reserves but also national wealth to repay the gas debt!

On the surface, the situation looks like a crazy house. Actions of the Ukrainian leaders are so irrational that it seems that they cannot be assessed by the common-sense tools.

However the author is sure that “the orange power” in Ukraine is not mad but plays a dirty, cynical and brutal political gamble, which will finally affect its people. Note that the Ukrainian leadership deliberately shut off gas pipelines running to Europe and reduced exported volumes thus drawing Europe into its political game evidently well-staged by overseas producers.

As of January 5, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Rumania, Macedonia and Croatia stopped receiving the Russian gas. Supplies to Austria and Slovenia were reduced by 90 per cent, to Poland – by 85 per cent, to Hungary – by 80 per cent and to Czechia – by 75 per cent. Slovakia, the country of more than 60 per cent of Ukrainian gas transit to the EU, declared that it is ready to proclaim an emergency situation. It failed to receive 70 per cent of gas. B&H, Serbia, Germany and Italy also suffered. And all this happens at a frost of -20°C in Europe.

On January 7, Ukraine completely stopped all Russian gas transit to the West.

In fact, it is a blackmail of the European Union: either you interfere or you chop fuel wood. And yet the reserves of natural gas in European underground storages are still sufficient to avoid any catastrophe, such situation reasonably irritates the EU and makes it take a decision on the situation.

The author does not rule out a scenario that this gas saturnalia was initiated by the Ukrainian leadership so that the EU and its military wing, NATO, would take the gas pipelines in the territory of Ukraine under its control, that would mean de-facto implementation of the plans painfully born by”the sweet couple” to join the North Atlantic Alliance or at least would make this process irreversible. Or may be I rate the IQ of the “orange leaders” too high. It’d prefer to be mistaken. Time will tell.

Meanwhile let’s return to the worst-case scenario. As the gas reserves shrink, the Ukraine’s actions make Europe to take a radical decision. The United States initiates establishment of a “peacekeeping” police force to guard the pipelines. The Ukrainian leaders wring hands but surrender, and after the force is introduced in the Ukrainian territory they receive a loan to repay to debt and pay for a new gas contract. In any case the amount of this loan makes Ukraine a slave of America for ever. The practice of the last years confirms that solution of complicated political problems by financial tools is fully in agreement with the general foreign strategy of the United States. It’s just a piece of cake to print another trillion Dollars. Anyway Dollar is just a paper.

And what about the Ukrainian people, our blood brothers and sisters, whom we cannot forget about? The cynicism and brutality of “the sweet couple’s” plans consist in the following fact: if they even resolve the crisis of 2009 thru a probable foreign loan, it is not the end of the history – 2010, 2011 and other years will come. But Ukraine will have no money to pay for the gas, in the situation of restricted sovereignty it will have nothing to pay with. At the same time it will be impossible to pump the gas out of the export pipelines. The “Western peacekeepers” are not Santas to make gifts. There will be no way to get free gas. And the state will fail. Moreover as soon as the winter comes, such policy will become the genocide of rulers against their own people. True Holodomor!!! In such cases there is only one remedy: to find an external enemy and point a national hatred vector against this enemy. And what reasonable words may we find in this case for the distressed people? It's high time to think that the statements of somebody about absolute impossibility of a fratricidal gladiator fight at exultation of softies and scums on the sands of the theatre are not so correct and logical.

However even such an apocalyptic scenario is rotten in its essence. It completely destroys the system of both European and global security. It is evident to any man of sense. Nevertheless there is no need to ignore it because the category of “sense” in the late XX- early XXI centuries became rather disputable and blurred in certain states.

What are the probable steps of Russia to prevent the worst-case scenario? First of all, it is necessary to exclude the United States from the number of concerned parties. The United States has nothing to do with the Russian gas supplies to Europe. Then, Russia within the framework of the OSCE or better the United Nations (again with the United States excluded from the process) should take active offensive diplomatic actions to timely create an on-line gas transit monitoring mechanism and respective force ensuring the safety to the pipelines and pump stations. Russia should play a decisive role in this mechanism and force to avoid any military and political westernization of the gas case. Thereafter the gas debt file should be submitted to the international arbitration, and the respective compensations should be paid by Ukraine to all affected states. In future, Russia and Ukraine may conclude a gas contract at any terms and conditions. Ukraine may just repay its debt with its export pipelines. I don’t think that Gazprom will be against at the aforesaid guarantees.

Today it is most important to disable the political blackmail of Russia and Europe by the Ukrainian leadership, which is evidently staged by the USA and already visible with a naked eye, and prevent further development of the worst-case scenario. Otherwise Russia may find itself in a situation, which is called the zugzwang by chess-players when every next move deteriorates the position of the player on the chessboard…
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