“I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”
If Churchill made that comment today, he might suggest the whole of the Russian enigma was wrapped in gas – natural gas, with oil in the mix as well. And once you wrap Russia in gas, she’s not much of an enigma, and you can divine pretty easily where her leaders think the national interest lies.
As we begin this survey it’s important to note that the mindset I approach it with is not one of “doom and gloom,” or anger that Russia is having the unmitigated gall to buy up oil and gas contracts. But neither is it valid or correct to depict Russia as merely one actor in a commercial competition. Russia works in a way other nations do not to subvert the independence of her neighbors who are also oil/gas actors, behaving toward Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan, and others in ways that would draw the vociferous ire of politicians and the media, if a Western nation did these things.
Oil and gas calculations have very real influence on national policies, Continue reading “America at the Crossroads: Русский газ”