Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Interdependence looks something like this.

Europe gets gas.  Russia gets money.

After that.

Europe burns gas.  Russian invests that money abroad.

Russian capitalism has found a home in the City of London that Soviet communists could only have dreamed of.

Why not use that as a tool to temper Russian action?

Why not taked limited actions to prevent the purchase of Western stocks and Bonds by the Russians?

Better yet, why not place export restrictions on luxury goods headed to Russia, and limit visas for Russians to official travel?

Of course this will never happen, becuase it would cost the City of London (and all the other financial centers in the West) money, but it sort of demonstrates the hypocrisy in crying about the energy weapon.

On the other hand, the EU has it fully within its powers to pursue a coordinated energy policy that bans the use of natural gas for electric production in 5 years, and provides subsidies for the construction of renewable energy sources to replace that.

Further, supply diversification through the construction of gas pipelines from North Africa and the Middle East could create a situation is which Russia is a supplier, but alternate suppliers have sufficient reserve production to limit the effect of any cut in Russian supplies.

All this costs money, though, and of course the complaint about Russia and gas isn't about supply, it's about demand, and more specifically the curious effects of price as a rationing mechanism.

Europe wants Russian to supply gas as though this were a full market, but the don't want the price for that gas to fluctuate as occurs in real markets....

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Aug 16th, 2008 at 03:38:55 PM EST

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