Thursday, December 22, 2005

Paying the piper and the pipee 

On the other side of the planet, Russia is up to its old tricks of threatening neighboring countries who don't play nice with them with higher gas prices. Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, three countries that have moved towards the West, are now facing double and triple prices for natural gas.

Scott Clark in Kyiv is saying it's blackmail, though in the long run he and I agree that if Russia wants to move to full price for its gas it is better to do so in graduated steps (and with the fees it pays to Ukraine, Georgia and other countries for trans-shipment royalties also raised slowly.) But, Dan McMinn notes, the timing of this, as close as it is to the parliamentary elections in Ukraine in March, give it the appearance of meddling.