November 2, 2009

Russia’s Gas and Ukraine’s Political Mess

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin typically rushed to accuse Ukraine of failing to make monthly payments for Russian gas. Mr. Putin even suggested EU to lend Ukraine at least $1 billion to help it pay for gas supplies.

BusinessWeek's Lynn Berry quotes Mr. Putin:

"Let the Europeans throw in a lousy billion," he said in televised remarks after talks with Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen.

"Why have they gotten so stingy down there? Let them get something out of their pockets," he said, in typically colorful language. "They have money, too."

Lynn Berry also writes that Putin first raised the gas payment alarm last Friday, when he said that Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko had warned him that Ukraine's president, Viktor Yushchenko, was making it difficult to pay the gas bill. Once again Mr. Putin can't help himself to stay neutral when it comes to the Ukrainian politics. Btw, Mrs. Tymoshenko whose government runs the state-owned natural gas company NAFTOGAZ is responsible for Russian gas import and payment. President Yushchenko has nothing to do with this. However, the upcoming presidential elections create more benefits from any black PR. Did I mention that the Tymoshenko government bans to use black PR against prime minister?

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