The Russians are feeling cool. The Ukrainians are feeling involved. The Europeans, at least most of them, are feeling deprived and cold. Most European countries depend on different sources for their supply of gas. Take Italy for example. It depends on Algeria, Russia, Libya, The Netherlands and Norway in that order. Gas is crucial in the winter months because it is needed to fuel the central heating systems with which most European homes are supplied.
Vladimir Putin’s Russia and its huge gas supplier Gazprom has decided to play cool at this freezing time of the year by cutting off the gas supplies to Europe. The problem is that the reason for this sudden freeze of supplies is a dispute with neighbouring Ukraine and has nothing to do with Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Serbia, and Austria – all countries who are feeling the bite but have no responsibility for Russia’s current grudge with the Westward looking Ukrainians.
Italy’s Enel reports that thanks to diverse contracts with other suppliers it has enough gas to supply homes until the 26th January. After that who knows? The situation is worse in the Balkans and former communist states which are more directly hit. The current wave of biting cold in the middle of Europe is not helping matters in any way. The EU is caught on the wrong leg once again since it has no common programme for gas supply or common gas market. After the Israeli question, the EU once again finds itself in a dire need of a much more reactive foreign policy – it is useless for individual nations to continue to flounder alone when the problems of today’s world afflict the community as a whole and when it is evident that a common reaction can be much more beneficial.
With an outside temperature of minus five and an inside personal temperature around the fahrenheit hundreds this is your reporter from centrally heated Belair, Luxembourg saying that it is over and out for now.