Sunday, January 20, 2008

Russia and the West

I can heartily recommend James Sherr's weighty paper: "Russia and the West: a Reassessment", published just a few days ago. It can be downloaded here

There is a hell of a lot in it for readers to think about.

Particularly interesting is the section entitled 'Energy', and its analysis of the Russian-Ukrainian gas business.

p.s. Tonight in a television interview, president Yushchenko warned against making changes to the 'gas market', in particular re-evaluating the price for transit of gas across Ukrainian territory. His waffling comments must fill the hearts of those trying to get rid of parasitic intermediaries and obtain the best possible deal for Ukraine, with dismay.

"I have warned those people who are engaged with this question - the head of the national stock company [Naftohaz] in particular. I know it is fashionable to throw into public discussion the revision of this or other sector of the market, including the gas [sector]," said Yushchenko.


Anonymous said...

James Sherr ROCKS! and his writing style: can't praise it enough for clarity, conciseness, brilliance just bloody brilliant writing.

MAJOR thanks for the link :)


Anonymous said...

ok - but has anyone any idea what Yush's interests in the matter are? why does he say he wants to scrap the intermediary but obviously wants at least for another year to keep the status quo? he is worried prices will jump? or that Russia and Europe will accelerate the building of alternate routes? is he just worried Tym's supports will take control of the goodies? he is waiting to see what happens to the regime in Russia first? is he just personally corrupt like everyone else and someone of his is getting a cut? any other ideas for motives?

Anonymous said...

ps one more idea - perhaps Yush promissed the business wing of the POR not to touch the gas set up in return for early elections or "allowing" the reformation of the orange coalition

Anonymous said...

Sherr has made some of the most cogent critisicm of Yush, (together with a POR deputy who accused the Pres of scattering himself with no resulting effect and becoming too involved with relative trivia) but Sherr's dismal in the current article of the OR as a failure, is surely wrong. Urkaine's, based on what Sherr himself writes about Russia a very different place from Russia nowadays, it doesn't just proclaim itself a different model - it is compared to Russia, a democracy ie free elections and a free media, - at least as far as government control goes.

elmer said...

Well, the questions posted above are exactly those that need to be answered, since this is not the first time that Yushchenko has dealt with this matter.

Exactly what is Yushchenko "warning" about? And what good is a "warning" if one does not know the specifics?

What is he "warning" people about? Don't people have a right to know?

Is the warning "forget about $179 gas, unless you continue to let Naftohaz be sucked dry, and continue to let Firtash and buddies make literally billions of dollars through 'intermediaries"?

As far as the gas issue in Ukraine, it seems to me that Yushchenko seems to be blaming the rain for a leaky roof.

In order to fix a leaky roof, one doesn't "warn" people about rainfall - one fixes the roof.

elmer said...

I, too, thank you for the link to the Sherr paper.

"Russia as spoiler" - I think that captures the mindset perfectly.

"Whatever it is, I'm against it."



How do you make sure that roosha does NOT come to your party?

You invite them.