Monday, January 23, 2006

More Energy Problems in Former Soviet Union

I would put the following article in two categories: the need to watch energy issues more closely worldwide and the need to watch the Soviet Union to see where it's going these days. I wouldn't make too much out of the Reuters article below but there was after all the trouble with the Ukraine a few weeks ago. Then again, there may be a third category: the potential of terrorists interrupting the delivery of energy:
Two explosions in Russia's North Ossetia province on Sunday knocked out the main pipeline that exports gas across the border to Georgia which is experiencing an unusually cold winter.

"This morning, partial supplies of gas to Tbilisi resumed," presidential chief of staff Georgy Arveladze said. "It will take several days to resume gas supplies nationwide."

The gas is coming from neighbouring Azerbaijan which takes its gas via a separate pipeline from Russia.

Georgia, whose relations with Moscow have been prickly since a pro-West government took power two years ago, stepped up its allegations that Russia had deliberately cut off the gas, though officials have not so far offered any evidence.

(snip)

Russia blamed the explosions on pro-Chechen insurgents in North Ossetia on the Russian side of the Caucasus.

A source at Russian gas monopoly Gazprom said it was pumping an extra 3 million cubic metres a day to Azerbaijan to pipe on to Georgia to help deal with the crisis.

Moscow rejected Georgian accusations, warning the country's leadership that it was risking relations with Russia.
I may be wrong and I hope I'm wrong, but these days I sense large areas of foreign policy being dangerously neglected by the Bush Administration. In any case, it seems long past time to return to the hard work of diplomacy rather than pr gestures useful only for domestic consumption and miderm elections but otherwise largely useless for long-term national security.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

You're quite right in your conclusion. Unfortunately, we first need people in charge of foreign policy who know more and think better.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

Reply to S.W. Anderson's excellent comment:

Yep.

1:30 AM  

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