Monday, November 27, 2006

EU-Russia energy dialogue

As part of my study abroad here at EUI, a major research paper is required. My topic, which goes back to one of my old warhorses, involves Russian energy. This time, instead of Russia and the Near Abroad, the topic is the EU-Russia energy dialogue.

Consequently, I'm immersed in myriads of documents pertaining to energy, most of which point to the fact that the EU has extremely limited bargaining chips in its negotiations for more favorable energy deals with Russia (surprise, surprise). Nevertheless, that doesn't seem to stop the EU from grandiose prognostications of immense future success, overwhelming optimism about the partnership, and platitudes regarding the state of the dialogue.

None of this really adds up when the current situation is taken into account.

My short and dirty take on it: Russia was willing to concede some points back around 2004, so as to not jeopardize its relationship with the accession countries, which are largely entirely dependent on Russia for oil and gas. By allowing the removal of destination clauses and other mechanisms of that ilk from long term supply contracts, Russia placated a nervous EU. Now, with oil prices remaining high, and Russia's economic position strengthening, Russia is blocking further discussions that might lead to a more genuine partnership between the two powers. Why give in to the EU when it keeps bringing up pesky human rights issues in the middle of discussions purportedly about energy?

Russia's got the upper hand. It's got the resources. Europe doesn't. Europe needs the resources. Western Europe is willing to let things slide. Eastern Europe isn't. They joined the EU to get away from Russia - and they're not going to give in to Russia that easily.

Long-run: unless the EU finds a way to give Russia a seat at the negotiating table, nothing much is going to happen. The EU can't just dictate energy policy for Russia, since Russia has no interest in accession to the EU. Does the legal structure of the EU allow for this? Stay tuned...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lenin in Rome. Very droll.
Xymph reminds why I ever considered Canadian conspiracy theory better than "real" media by pointing out that while an Original Neocon Gangster, recenty longknifed Philip Zelikow actually had a brain in his head and cannot be forgiven for trying to suggest good ideas. So now a guy who told Buish to negotiate with Palestine and DPRK is out and Newt Gingrich -- an unelectable moron who attacked Bill Clinton over consensual sex and was reveald to be a date rapist and shockingly callous monster -- calling for victory or death in Iraq.

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Russian coincidences." Is Putin going after the oligarchs? If so, I'd come down on the side of Putin, who is evil, but not nearly as evil as the nonhumans who raped Russia and damned its chances of graceful transition to capitalism.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

George Saunders on Cohen the war-mongering, lazy-movie-phoning-in, goy-mocking, money-stealing, Golders Green Jew millionaire who uses last minute multi culturalism to escape from what any subJew doing the exact same thing would suffer. Or, rather, Borat the simple, poor, powerless foreigner whose inferiority is apparently hilarious.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Putin may be a bastard, but he's our bastard (that is, he's a human being, as opposed to his enemies).

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

638 ways to kill Castro, all being about as effective as the first twenty "takings" of Fallujah.

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those elements of the American pundit trade that affect any feeling to the left of Herbert Hoover normally exist to sodomize themselves with their own heads: they are there to disrupt and mislead dissent, not seriously challenge the wealthiest, most powerful and most successful terrorists in history. So it's not surprising that many respectable liberals supported the rape of Afghanistan, even gruesomely enough trying to use their support for the rape of Afghanistan as a proof of credibility and loyalty against their nominal opposition to the rape of Iraq. If anyone paid attention to these disgusting and useless inhuman things they would note that most respectable opposition to the rape of Iraq takes the form of technical quibbling: we could do it better, you see. We would rape Iraq slightly differently.
Lenin (angry Irishman Richard Seymour, and one of the best political bloggers writing in English) smashes, owns and buries the filthy liberal support for the rape of Afghanistan with this long post.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The central criticism of Israel boils down to gangsters using political corruption and sheer cash to defy all of nature, morality, international law and adorable puppies, to force an unnatural and highly unstable state of affairs to a pretend stability and even faux prosperity. This gets downright comedic in the Israeli bid to -- this is going to be very silly -- schmooze its way to being China's oil supplier. It's the like the ultimate bad joke about a man with no skills trying to corner a market through retailing other people's work, but considering there is nothing in the American or Israeli governments that would stop it, and that the EU needs a considerable about of blood to be shed before it notices anything, it might be the future. The idea was: "The pipeline was originally used to move oil from Iran around the Arabian peninsula and up through the Red Sea to Eilat, and then across Israel to the Mediterranean port of Ashkelon, where it moved on to Europe. This route made sense when the Suez Canal was closed, and when Iran [under the Shah] was pals with Israel, but makes no sense now."
Except that the oligarches who raped Russia into worthlessness in history's biggest theft and still wrestle with Putin are mostly Zionist Jews and entirely capable of forcing Russian oil through an inefficient process. The Romans had increasingly complicated dinner parties, the Chinese had massive scale models in their tombs, the various South Americans went crazy with sacrificing, and the US & I will smash themselves to bits on the DUMBEST ENERGY POLICY IDEAS EVER.
By the way, from the same site, the FBI can follow your car through its tires and listen to your every word even when your cell phone is off.

1:28 PM  

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