I’ve been telling you for a while that despite America’s, uh, polite meddling for regime change in the name of freedom, hardly anyone gives a rat’s butt-rape about Ukraine as a republic. Its geographic location, proximity to US rival Russia, as well as its possibility of being another source of consumers and low-cost laborers for the EU kept Ukraine on the West’s radar screen of priorities.
But we’re now looking at one less reason for the West to keep bullet-ridden Ukraine around as a dance partner–Russia is building an alternative gas transit route that will bypass Ukraine and, with Austria’s partnership, still service Russia’s European customers. At one time, Ukraine was Russia’s primary bet to supply Europe with gas. Russia has flipped the script with this news of a South Stream pipeline.
This means plenty of things. And none of them look good for Ukraine.
For starters, keep in mind that Russia turned off Ukraine’s gas in June for failure to pay its bills, which relatively reduced Ukraine’s status from delinquent customer to gas transport mule. Alright, with separatists, right-wing crazies and lots of gunplay as bonuses!
Second, Ukraine has little to no gas in reserve. This means the country would have to siphon Europe’s gas from the pipeline running through its country to get some–and piss off its European friends as a result. Russia Gazprom CEO, Alexei Miller, more or less warned that gas-less Ukraine is going to have a helluva winter this year.
Next – and this is really going to kick Ukraine’s azz – Gazprom hinted that it may stop pumping gas through Ukraine completely.
With no gas running through Ukraine, I doubt that the West will show the country much love. Russia appears to think that way. as well.
Who wants a war zone of a country that has one of the worst economies in Eastern Europe, can no longer serve as an effective US client state, and will soon no longer transport the one thing Europe wants from it above all?
Ukraine is officially played. Pimped-out, shot-up, and now left to bleed…
song currently stuck in my head: “gimme what you got” – al jarreau