Russia and the Ukraine

I don’t really know anything about international law, but I would think that there would be something wrong with this:

I am not sure there is any “international law” that can do much about that or anything else like it unless you are referring to the U.N. and that is to laugh for things of this nature. It does seem ridiculous and horrible though. I just believe that Russia is trying to get back at the Ukraine. I know a mechnanic who brought his family here illegally from the Ukraine but is now legal. I was at his extremely modest apartment and I know he kills himself working. I asked “So how do you like being in the U.S.?” He said, “This is great country. Ukraine is not a good country to be in. Russians ruined the country. I will never return.”

What’s wrong with it? Russia produces and owns the gas, and if it wants to charge Ukraine more for it, that’s their business. Ukraine doesn’t have a right to the gas. It’s a long-standing practice to use international trade to try to influence politics abroad.

This is way to premature to answer this question, and I need to research this a bit, but if Russian is the only country that supplies gas to the Ukraine by pipeline or something, and Russia just all of a sudden jacked the prices up (400%) in the middle of winter, I would imagine there would be something pretty wrong with it…maybe only morally though. I would think the international community would react/intervene somehow. Wars have been fought for less.

There’s probably, much, much more to it than the short BBC article states, so Im going back to the search engines before SharkAttack passes judgement.

Ya…yBeayr, I might just agree with you. It sucks, but theyve got the gas, and Ukraine doesn’t. Actually, I just remembered that a few years I saw a documentary on either discovery or the animal channel where a similar situation happened on Mars. I guess the ruler cut the air off to the mutants, a bunch of people with melting faces and three breasts. They were SOL. Luckily though, some guy named Schwarzenegger just happened to be visiting the place, and he had just learned a bunch of new karate moves. Well, let me tell you, he went in and kicked some ass. His face almost exploded, but still he saved the day.

I’m not sure who the Ukraine can turn to in this situation, but this guy might help.

From what I’ve read, Ukraine helped bring this on by threatening to raise the rent Russia pays them for basing the Black Sea Fleet in their waters. The Ukraine also threatened to take something like 15% of the gas being shipped through the Ukraine to the EU as a “transit fee.”

The Ukraine likes to play hard ball with Russia, courting their new Western friends the whole way. But you know what they say about messing with the bear.

Sooner or later, Russia may not need to ship fuel through the Ukraine. Then what’s Ukraine going to take 15% of? Ukraine wants to play all nicey nicey with the West, but they don’t want to pay western prices for their gas.

sharkattack: Yes, because Total Recall is a wonderful guide to understanding international politics.

Would Germany or Poland or someone be willing to sell Ukraine enough fuel to see them through a winter if Russia is absolutely unwilling to deal with them?

This is a pretty good article:

Romania, which borders Ukraine and has a petroleum industry, would probably be the best source.

And perhaps the solution might be to send Arnold over as arbitrator? :slight_smile:

I suspect you are the type to believe that the US Constitution prevents bad things from happening to people. :wink:

Russia’s (state manipulated) natural gas company has attempted for some time to reach agreement upon the coming year’s prices for gas with the Ukranian (state manipulated) gas company. The Russian company (Gazprom) wants to quadruple the price of natural gas; the Ukranian company (Naftogaz) has offered to pay only about a 1/3 increase. The cost of such gas to Ukraina has been substantially below market prices for some time; this is a remnant of Russian pro-Ukranian policy, a policy which has ended with the defeat of the Pro-Russian candidate for President in last year’s elections in Ukraina.

So, while there are political implications certainly (there are always political implications), there does not appear to be anything obviously “illegal” about the situation.

Amazingly, there isn’t anything inherently “illegal” about bad things happening. Thank goodness.

Bseides the Ukrainians siphoning gas from the pipelines as a fee, the gas has been sold at deep discounts to the world price for many years. The Ukrainians are also a very large consumer of natural gas in part thanks to the cheap gas. Now the Russians have decided to bring the price back to market levels and are playing hardball.

There is likely a political aspect to it, but when the Ukrainians have been buying it that cheaply for so long, they should have known that they were living on borrowed time. Now the bill has come due and they don’t have the money to pay.

This is a quote from the BBC article :-

Ukraine: US$230
Belarus: US$47
Armenia and Georgia: US$110
Romania: US$280
Average EU charge: US$240
source: AP news agency

As you can see, Russia wants to charge the going rate to the Ukraine, but is still selling very cheap gas to its political friends , Belarus and Georgia .

Russia was making a big favor to a formerly frendly Ukrainian government. The likehood that the price of energy sold by Russia to the Ukraine would skyrocket as the result of the election of a president who wanted to take some distance with Moscow was already mentionned during last year’s “Orange revolution” . So, I don’t think it’s surprising.

And it’s not really shocking, either.

I would assert that georgia is hardly friendly with Georgia considering the Russians actions in Abkhazia and the Revolution in that country. They also charge Estonia about half the going rate and they have had serious problems with the Estonians over the treatment of Ethnic Russians there.

All President Yushenko offered was $80/1000 m3. What reason do the Russians possibly have to give him a special rate?