Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Turkmenistan as a Weapon

There are some uncertainties on what's really happening with one very crucial part of Russia's gas war with the Ukraine.

Ukraine actually imports more gas from Turkmenistan than from Russia, although all of that comes through the pipelines running through Russia.

What seems certain is that Russia has refused to transit increased amounts that have been contracted by Ukraine. But in addition there are indications that they are trying to cut the Turkmen supply in much bigger ways.

If that is the case, then there is no question that we are seeing a classical case of economic warfare. Then all talk about a business dispute disappears very fast indeed.

Even more reason to follow what happens in this first major European crisis for a long time.