Sunday, January 08, 2006

Gas and politics

It's not that I'm too busy or too lazy to post. I just forget. That's my excuse for posting on this Le Monde editorial three days late. But editorials don't die so quickly as regular news. I translated the last and most interesting paragraph for (those of) you (who don't read French). Here's the opening line to give you an idea of the rest: En obligeant l'Ukraine à accepter de payer cinq fois plus cher le gaz russe... Vladimir Poutine a certainement marqué un point . . . By obligating Ukraine to pay five times more dearly for Russian gas... Vladimir Putin has certainly marked a point...

First Tsarist, then Soviet, Russia has always been obsessed by creating around herself a buffer zone for protection from harmful influences. This kind of politics realized its apogee with Stalin and the creation of the "Socialist camp" after World War II. Mikhail Gorbatchev and then Boris Yeltsin had broken with this tradition by trying to integrate their country into a pan-European political system. Convinced that the disappearance of the Soviet Union is "the greatest catastrophe of the twentieth century", Mr. Putin is joining again with the politics of zones of influence. It isn't a good piece of news for Russia's immediate neighbors or for Europe as a whole.


Anonymous said...

Considering he was a former member of the KGB (Soviet secret police), I don't find that too alarming.


Anonymous said...

Where read that Derek?


Sharon said...

Derek, did you mean alarming or surprising?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, (I used some bad grammer on my
earlier comment.)
This is what I thought I had typed,honest!
"Where did you read that Derek?


Anonymous said...


Ma Hoyt said...

Melinda, don't worry about minor typos...I've had my share.

If you want to find out more about Putin, you can look here.