January 9, 2006

YOU CAN'T REST THE WEST ON A FOUNDATION OF EASTERN GAS:

The Path To Energy Security (Mikheil Saakashvili, January 9, 2006, Washington Post)

Russia's arbitrary cutoff sent a clear message to the European Union: There can be no energy security when an undependable neighbor is willing and able to use its energy resources as a weapon in political influence.

We in Georgia watched these events with great interest for two major reasons. Last August, Georgia and Ukraine initiated the creation of the Community of Democratic Choice. The CDC held its first meeting in Kiev last month and began to mobilize democracies to work toward our common goals. In the course of the Rose and Orange revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, respectively, our peoples chose to develop open, democratic societies and set out to reorient our economic and political ties to the West. We believe it is critical to our future safety and economic security that we integrate ourselves with Euro-Atlantic structures, which is why we are working to gain membership in NATO and the European Union. We are constantly striving for good relations with our giant neighbor, but the Russian government's recent actions are yet another example of that country's attempts to influence nearby countries. Because of our democratic solidarity with Ukraine, our Black Sea neighbor, we shared the outrage expressed in Europe at Russia's heavy-handed action.

We also expressed support for Ukraine because of our own experience. While this was the European Union's first experience with a politically motivated cutoff of natural gas, Russia has attempted to pressure Georgia this way on many occasions. That is why we seek diverse sources of energy. In the wake of these dramatic events, it is critical that the E.U. move to diversify its energy sources and develop new transportation routes for its supplies.


Another Georgian who gets it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 9, 2006 8:56 AM
Comments

Joining the EU would detrimental to their plan to "develop open, democratic societies."

The former Soviet republics would do well to form an alternate EU and strive to become part of the Anglosphere.

Posted by: erp at January 9, 2006 9:13 AM

Politically motivated shutoff? Wasn't this really about the Ukraine being asked to pay market prices for the gas, and about their claim for higher revenues for the pipeline right of way, causing the ukraine to siphon off gas intended for the EU?

Sounds like the Ukraine has them all by the gas.
Allow the market to straighten it out without creating special interest political problems.

And when will we be getting our Behring Sea pipeline to Alaska so the left coast can start bitching about Russia instead of Enron etc. When the cows come home of course.

Posted by: Genecis at January 9, 2006 10:33 AM

Pay for the gas, isn't that what free market is all about!

Posted by: mj at January 9, 2006 9:27 PM

The point is a wise one. diversify your sources and you cannot be held up. Gas Tax anyone?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at January 10, 2006 12:31 AM
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