The Russian-Ukrainian talks regarding gas with the mediation of the EU Commission ended with what they should have ended with – Stockholm arbitrage and the demand to make advance payments for gas. And this is a logical consequences of the approach to politics and economics that Putin’s Kremlin preaches.
Russians do not comprehend the process of complex political agreements, concessions, finding compromise. Only Blitzkrieg, only hardcore! That the annex of Crimea was done should have demonstrated to the civilised world that we are dealing with unstable people, who are sincerely scared of revenge for the machinations they engage in and who strive to end everything as soon as possible. Remind yourselves how many times the date and the formulation of the infamous Crimea referendum was changed. Remind yourselves that even the members of the marionette Crimea Parliament that voted at the occupants’ gunpoint, found out only in the session hall that they were to vote on the decision to proclaim the peninsula an independent state – even though no referendum regarding this topic was held, they held a referendum to join Russia. This is the behaviour of the people who not only disregard international law, but who are also hasty to camouflage this disregard. This, essentially, is not only the reaction of a madman, but also a reaction of child who wants to exit the dark room as quickly as possible, without even trying to comprehend whether there is light in the next room and whether they will hit something while running. Only forward, only now! Russia, Russia!
What happens to crazy people when they don’t succeed in their schemes? They become hysterical, begin to crush everything in sight, threaten, laugh – just like Minister Lavrov at the recent meeting with his colleagues from Poland and Germany. In sum, they go crazy. Just like the Russian political government has done when it became apparent that nothing would come of Novorossiya and that the mercenaries of Donbas were not going to stage a rebellion to support the bloody criminals. And the same can be observed in the gas talks. Alexey Miller, head of huge company, on the supplies of which the normal existence of several European countries depends, flees talks in hysterics all the time. And he has not gone mad, no. Just like any other person in the Russian leadership, he simply does not know any other form of behaviour. Either the subordinates – and for Miller the entire world is subordinate, – carry out his orders – or madness begins. In Russia itself this takes the shape of throwing ashtrays at people’s faces and coarse language. Outside the country – hysterical flight.
But these attacks of madness are not to be fears – and, most importantly, they should not be encouraged. As dangerous patients, after such hysterics, if they do not end with anything and nothing views their madness seriously and agrees that they are Napoleons, fall into depression. In Russian conditions depression is perestroika and glasnost: the best testament to the fact that the patient has calmed down for a while.
In the issue of gas, the best transition from hysteria to depression is arbitrage. It is thanks to the court process, which in reality should have been started several years ago, we will receive a great opportunity to receive a real price for gas. The European Union, on its part, will receive the opportunity to more quickly re-examine their fuel relations with “Gazprom”: the inability of the company to stick to agreements makes it a highly unreliable supplier. And taking into account that the Russian monopolist simply has no money for development, Miller and company should not be prevented from cutting the branch they have perched on together with Putin.
The fall will be a lesson for all of us.
Author: Vitaliy Portnikov
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina