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Russian agression in Georgia

(94 Posts)
AtheneNoctua Mon 11-Aug-08 08:51:44

BBC story

What do you think Western Europe's response should be Russia's invasion of Georgia. This is of course nothing to do with protecting their newly created citizens and everything to do with getting control of the BTC pipeline.

Scary stuff if you ask me. I mean just how much do you want to pay for a liter of petrol. For those who don't know, BTC is the only pipeline which carries oil from the Caspian to Europe and does not pass through Russia. How many taps are we willing to put in Russia's control? I was glad to read Bush has stood up for Georgia, as has Cheney. Why isn't Western Europe doing the same? Are they afraid of Russia? Or do they think it's okay for Russia to go around invading countries so they can control the flow of oil to the West?

Callisto Mon 11-Aug-08 09:04:17

What Europe should say: "We don't want your oil or gas Mr Putin so don't try to hold us to ransom. And if you continue your aggression against an independant democracy about to be granted NATO membership we will inflict economic sanctions on your country that you can ill afford. Now fuck off and stop being such a bully."

What Europe will really say: "That's fine Mr Putin, continue your unjustified aggression against all ex-soviet territories and tear up any agreements that Russia has with these countries, just please, please don't switch off the power".

Europe is seen as weak and incapable of making decisions by Russia. There is nothing, realistically, that we can do while Russia controls the oil & gas.

EffiePerine Mon 11-Aug-08 09:06:30

I can't see that there's much we can do

relations between Russia, the US and Europe are pretty dodgy as it is

they are hardly going to be worried by threats of sanctions or cutting diplomatic ties

Callisto Mon 11-Aug-08 09:06:47

I've no idea what Bush thinks he can do either. The only answer is economic sanctions - if we stop buying Russian oil the economy will founder - Russia has nothing else to bargain with.

EffiePerine Mon 11-Aug-08 09:08:10

but is that possible given the dodgy economic climate in teh West? Refusing to buy oil and gas that is.

Callisto Mon 11-Aug-08 09:09:56

Hardly - the UK alone imports 22 billion tons of coal per year from Russia, and that isn't counting the oil and gas we import from there. If we can't get it from Russia where is it going to come from?

FioFio Mon 11-Aug-08 09:10:16

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Callisto Mon 11-Aug-08 09:11:05

Sorry, that should read 'million' not 'billion'.

sprogger Mon 11-Aug-08 09:11:32

It's really worrying. My DH is quite adept at burying his head in the sand about this sort of thing, but I'm starting to think about my fleeing-from-Europe strategy.

Putin is dead set on resurrecting Russia's influence on the world stage. Between Russia and China, I'm not sure which autocratic regime is looking like the lesser of two evils as the next great global power. (Maybe we should all plump for India?)

FioFio Mon 11-Aug-08 09:12:40

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Callisto Mon 11-Aug-08 09:19:33

According to the CIA: 'Despite Russia's recent success, serious problems persist. Oil, natural gas, metals, and timber account for more than 80% of exports and 30% of government revenues, leaving the country vulnerable to swings in world commodity prices.

Russia's manufacturing base is dilapidated and must be replaced or modernized if the country is to achieve broad-based economic growth. The banking system, while increasing consumer lending and growing at a high rate, is still small relative to the banking sectors of Russia's emerging market peers. Political uncertainties associated with this year's power transition, corruption, and lack of trust in institutions continue to dampen domestic and foreign investor sentiment.

PUTIN has granted more influence to forces within his government that desire to reassert state control over the economy. Russia has made little progress in building the rule of law, the bedrock of a modern market economy. The government has promised additional legislative amendments to make its intellectual property protection WTO-consistent, but enforcement remains problematic.'

sarah293 Mon 11-Aug-08 09:20:29

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AtheneNoctua Mon 11-Aug-08 09:21:57

Callisto, where do you get your coal stats? I was just talking to a colleague and wondering what prtion of Western Europe's oil supply comes through BTC?

And, you are right, we need desperately to reduce our dependancy on Russian oil/gas/coal. But, it does't look likely to happen in the immediate or even near future.

AtheneNoctua Mon 11-Aug-08 09:24:08

It's not comparable, Riven. Russia wants to actually control the taps. They want to own Georgia so they can keep control of the resources. This is not Iraq. And not everything in the world can be explained by the US/UK led invasion of Iraq.

AtheneNoctua Mon 11-Aug-08 09:26:00

ANd let us not forget that the countries who were opposed to the Iraq invasion (i.e. Russia, France, etc.) were opposed because they had existing oil deals with Saddam. So actually it was the opposition to the war who held their stance because of their oil deals. Very much contrary to you implication.

sarah293 Mon 11-Aug-08 09:26:49

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Oblomov Mon 11-Aug-08 09:27:27

Agree with Callisto. Europe is seen to be, and IS very weak.

sarah293 Mon 11-Aug-08 09:32:59

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FioFio Mon 11-Aug-08 09:34:13

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Callisto Mon 11-Aug-08 10:49:03

Athene - coal stats lifted direct from Telegraph article about the UK's energy supply and how precarious it is: www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/08/10/do1007.xml

Riven - I agree that we will see more and more wars like this as natural resources start become scarce. This is just the beginning I think and the world will become much more unstable as things like water and food run out.

Callisto Mon 11-Aug-08 10:49:03

Athene - coal stats lifted direct from Telegraph article about the UK's energy supply and how precarious it is: www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/08/10/do1007.xml

Riven - I agree that we will see more and more wars like this as natural resources start become scarce. This is just the beginning I think and the world will become much more unstable as things like water and food run out.

alexpolismum Mon 11-Aug-08 10:49:47

I agree with riven. I don't think the UK or the US can really oppose Russia without being hypocrites.

Quite apart from Iraq, there's also the example of the Balkan states, as according to reports I have heard here, Georgia has been attacking civilians, so can hardly claim the moral high ground.

I don't think everything is as black and white as the media like to portray it.

Callisto Mon 11-Aug-08 10:50:02

Oops.

alexpolismum Mon 11-Aug-08 10:55:24

Callisto - I agree with you. I think the next major wars will be over water, not oil. If you look at rivers running down into the middle east from Turkey where they are building or have already built dams to stop the flow, you can see the potential wars developing already.

Callisto Mon 11-Aug-08 10:56:10

Athene - after a quick search I've found a Times article that states the BTC pipeline 'pumps up to 1 million barrels of oil per day' for the US and Europe. Don't know what the breakdown of that is though.

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