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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Europe Calls on US to Rally Against Russian Imperialism

So much for Russia being an ally of Europe against the U.S.! Russia alienates countries from Kazakhstan to Denmark. The Washington Post reports:

RUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union urged the United States on Saturday to join it in pressing for open energy markets and more democracy in Russia when the world's leading industrial powers meet in St Petersburg in July.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told a transatlantic conference that the 25-nation EU and Washington should press Moscow to create free market conditions and legal certainty to guarantee predictable energy supplies.

Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried said Washington was ready to work with Europe to promote an open, commercially based and non-political energy regime.

"We need to enhance our external cooperation and create the necessary market conditions and legal framework in those producers or transit countries on which the world economies count for their energy supply," Barroso told the Brussels Forum.

"We can no longer afford, nor should we accept, the unpredictability of the energy market," he said. Moscow's abrupt cut in supplies to and through Ukraine in January over a pricing dispute sparked alarm across Europe. His comments capped a week in which Russia has threatened to divert gas supplies from Europe to Asia if EU countries shut its giant monopoly supplier Gazprom out of their retail markets.

Fried told a news conference: "We want to work with Europe to advance our common interest in an energy regime in Eurasia which is open, which is commercially based, not politically based, which is allows for multiple sources of energy, so there is no one single source in one party's hands."

"POLITICAL COERCION"

Republican Senator John McCain, a possible presidential contender, said Washington should be tougher on what he called President Vladimir Putin's autocratic rule and "some perverted vision of a restoration of the Soviet empire."

"In all the days of the Soviet Union, Russia never turned off the spigot of gas. Putin did," McCain told an International Republican Institute lunch attended by Barroso.

The EU Commission president said Moscow had been a reliable energy supplier in the past and had an interest in secure demand from the EU and also in European investment, technology and know-how to get oil and gas out of the ground.

He criticized Moscow for refusing to ratify an international energy charter treaty that would force it to open its pipeline network to third-party suppliers.

5 comments:

Michael van der Galien said...

Republican Senator John McCain, a possible presidential contender, said Washington should be tougher on what he called President Vladimir Putin's autocratic rule and "some perverted vision of a restoration of the Soviet empire."

I agree on this one with McCain partially. Putin is autocratic, we should be tougher on him, but... "restoration of the Soviet empire" - I am quite sure Putin does not want to restore the Soviet empire. In essence simply not because those areas cost Russia too much money. Simply put: too expansive for Russia. That is why Russia (Soviet Union) was so weak at a certain moment.

What I dó think Putin wants is a extremely powerful Rússia. A Russia with a strong economy, very stable, etc... ruled by a dictator.

Either is unacceptable of course, just a nuance ;)

La Russophobe said...

You and McCain right, it's simply not in America's interest to have Russia as a dicatorship. Too much anti-American feeling there, get the wrong man and the next thing you know there's disaster. Plus which, America owes it to herself and the world to stick up for her princpals. Bush has not been helpful in this regard.

Interesting question: Some people seem to believe that Russia is a nation of savages that can only be governed by a dicator. Do you think there is any truth in this?

Michael van der Galien said...

Interesting question: Some people seem to believe that Russia is a nation of savages that can only be governed by a dicator. Do you think there is any truth in this?

haha, well I wouldn't put it that harsh. "savages" - they are not 'savages' of course.

But a nation of different peoples, that can only be governed by a dictator: I heard that before as well. Some seem to really believe that indeed. We should remember that Russia's 'greatest heroes' or 'famous leaders' were... well... dictators. So that is extremely interesting. If we look at the US - the greatest leaders were famous for their believe in the democracy. Russia's greatest leaders were, well, mass murderers one could argue.

Do I think that to be the only way Russia to govern Russia? No, I don't. I think that every country in the world can be ruled by democracy, in essence. The question however, is not whether I believe the Russians can handle democracy / don't need a dictator, the question is what do the Russians themselves think about it.
The attitude of the average Russian needs to change first.

I once read that Russians are among the most paranoid peoples in the world. That needs to change.

winston said...

keep up the good comment russophobe. People NEED to hear what is going on there.

La Russophobe said...

Thanks, sir Winson! Will do.