Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Russian Gas Crisis in Georgia

(hat tip: A Step at a Time)
Eurasia Daily Monitor covers a gas crisis in Georgia involving sabotaged LNG pipelines...

A quick excerpt:

The selection of targets and close coordination of the blasts leaves no
doubt that they aimed for a total halt of Russian energy supplies to Georgia
during an unusually cold mid-winter (with Armenia suffering collateral damage).
The operation undertaken to that end in two different North Caucasus regions
demonstrates the effectiveness of whatever organization carried it out.
Suspicions focus variously on elements within Russia's secret services, intent
on forcing Georgia to its knees; or on North Caucasus guerrilla groups seeking
to discredit Moscow in the region and internationally.

Either version must be seen as a mortifying possibility by Gazprom, as well
as Russia's United Energy Systems (UES) and Transneft, and by implication the
Russian government. The blasts indicate that Moscow no longer reliably controls
energy export routes on Russia's own territory.

The first is probably more likely, but either way, it's an ugly situation.

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