Thursday, January 8, 2009

Russia's New Cold War With Europe

On New Year's Eve, the deadline expired for Russia and Ukraine to agree on a new contract for 2009 gas supplies. Moscow had wanted to raise its prices and charge Kiev $250 per 1,000 cubic metres, up from $179.5 last year.

The Ukrainians thought that excessive and refused to pay a cent more than $201. Russia promptly put its price up to $450. Then, at 10am on New Year's Day, Russia's energy monopoly Gazprom halted supplies of all gas meant for domestic use in Ukraine.

The pipelines that cross Ukraine also carry gas to Europe. In fact, 20% of the European Union's gas is supplied by Russia through pipelines in the Ukraine. Recently, Russia's dispute with the Ukraine has escalated and it has stopped supplying gas through the Ukraine to Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia and Macedonia.

The shutoff of Russian gas through the Ukraine is creating an energy crisis throughout the European Union during this long cold winter of sub zero temperatures. The fact is that the longer it goes on, the worse the crisis will become as gas storage supplies dwindle and disappear.

So what is Vladimir Putin up to by creating this energy crisis in Europe? Also, is it just a coincidence that many of the scientists that believe the solar cycle will result in dramatic global cooling during the next few decades come from Russia?

Accuweather Long Range Meteorologist Joe Bastardi has an interesting theory that may answer both of these questions. Bastardi speculates that; "Putin is relying on (climate) data from Russian scientists and wants to bring some European nations to their knees by exploiting their reliance on natural gas when the weather is at its coldest".

Bastardi continues; "Putin thinks he knows what is going to happen about the overall climate pattern. So, if you control the pipeline into Europe, you literally can control Europe without firing a shot - if you control the energy.”

Vladimir Putin has a history of trying to exploit natural resources for wealth and to gain political advantage. Over a year ago, when Arctic Sea Ice was rapidly melting, Russia was trying to claim the resource rich land under the Arctic Ice Cap, even before it became available.(For More Read: Russia Claims The North Pole on eworldvu)

It may well be that as many nations spend large sums of money to reduce C02 gas to prevent global warming, Putin is gambling on a much different climate change outcome.

Russia's new cold war with Europe is already underway. In the years ahead, if global temperatures continue to decline, Russia will be the beneficiary and the European Union will have to pay.

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