Happy 2006, Ukraine and Russia!

Map of Ukraine
Map of Ukraine, from the CIA Factbook, via Wikipedia.

So, first thing I did in 2006 was sleep in late, see of Yayoi and our houseguest Miyuki, who are going to spend the day in San Francisco riding cables cars and stuff, and make some toast and coffee and check out the Internet. And what do I see? Well, I see . . . Russia accusing Ukraine of “stealing” gas. And I ask myself “ugh . . . is this saber-rattling before a war?

My thinking goes like this:
– Ukraine is not in NATO, it is with Russia’s CIS.
– The CIS is dominated by Moscow.
– Gazprom is effectively an arm of the Russian government.
– The “Orange Revolution” is believed to be viewed as a threat by Putin.
– War over natural resources is a popular theme. Iraq accused Kuwait of stealing oil . . .
– Invasion of satellite states to defend the Russian government’s sphere of control is a popular theme, although out-of-fashion.
– Even if the US wanted to intervene, our military is kinda busy at the moment . . .

But, basically, I was wondering . . . well, obviously Gazprom is trying to retailiate against Ukraine, maybe destabilize it by cutting off gas in the winter, but they need Ukrainian cooperation to successfully deliver gas to Western Europe. Ukraine has claimed that, gas sales or not, it is entitled to 15% of the gas that flows through the country as a delivery fee. Well, if Ukraine is stealing gas, that might be a convenient excuse to roll in there and remove the troublesome Western government and replace it with a more cooperative government.

So, I went off in search . . . I spent about a half hour researching the issue on the Internet, and here’s the sum total of Russian bellicosity that I could find:

Earlier this week, Russia vowed to take its neighbor to the Stockholm Court of Arbitration if such siphoning occurs.

OOooohhh! The Stockholm Court of Arbitration!! How’s that for a war, eh?

I hope . . . I hope that even if I have been playing a bit too much Civ4 lately, that the world actually is a better place, if Russia’s imperial ambitions amount to sueing satellite states in court, rather than muscling them.

I guess I should go get my walk on . . .

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Categories: Politics

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