Providing Unique Commentary and Insight into Politics, History and Society since 2005

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Putin: The Master of the new Energy Politics

  Vladimir Putin has restored Russian pride. A battered people after defeat in the Cold War and dismantling of an empire that spanned almost three centuries from the days of Catherine the Great to the fall of the Soviet Union. Russia is used to dominating its neighbors and has through many years of resettling managed to create significant ethnic Russian minorities in many nations surrounding its borders. Simply put, each of the other fourteen nations that were once Soviet Republic and much of Eastern Europe is seen as a Russian sphere of influence by the Kremlin.

NATO expansion which has antagonized the Russians in addition to the soft treatment this administration under the thumb of Russophile Condelezza Rice has brought us to the brink of a new cold war. But the war can never truly be cold, because these days the Russians have much more economic influence over Western Europe. In other words thanks to Gazprom, the former Yukos, and other Russian natural gas and petroleum companies, The Kremlin has more ability to influence events in the West than ever before. Gone are the days of clandestine cloak and dagger spy games: Today Putin can dare the west and use the ultimate weapon: not a the threat of a Nuclear holocaust, but instead he could threaten to cut off the Gas supply to the West.

This would have a devastating affect on the world economy. Coddling Putin has allowed Russian economic and military strength to assert itself. As I predicted three years ago on this website, Russia would represent the biggest threat to American interests both economic and political. the time has come for the West to get tough with Putin and to also accelerate the development of alternative sources of energy. What's even worse than depending on Saudi Arabia is depending on Russia to meet our energy needs.
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I am the host of the Major League Soccer Talk and EPL Talk Podcasts and am frequent guest on other (world) football shows. I am also the publisher of various other websites including this one. I work in public/government relations in addition to my soccer work and have a keen interest in history, politics, aviation, travel,and the world around us.