The Corner

The one and only.

Cracking The Whip


Moscow is looking to increase the price it charges Ukraine for natural gas by far more than the rate it charges more amenable parts of the former USSR. If there’s no deal, Gazprom (the Russian gas monopoly) is threatening to cut off Ukrainian customers (and may have done so by now), bad news at any time of the year, but terrible in freezing, icy January. In response the Ukrainians are saying that they will simply siphon off a percentage of the gas from the Russian pipelines passing through their country on the way to customers in the EU, something that’s bad news for European consumers.

It’s well worth keeping an eye on this story, not only obviously for what it may signal for the development of Russo-Ukrainian relations, but also as a portent of what the EU’s increasing energy dependence on Russia could come to mean.