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From the article:

Frantic efforts to restore gas supplies to millions of European consumers failed yesterday after Russia refused to turn the pipeline back on in its showdown with Ukraine.

A European Union plan to send monitors to both countries, agreed in principle by Moscow and Kiev as a way of breaking the deadlock between them, faltered at the 11th hour when Russia demanded that its own inspectors should be sent to Ukraine alongside independent experts. Last night the EU decided to send its monitors to Ukraine anyway, in the hope of persuading Russia to re-open the taps.

The row has left 12 countries without deliveries in freezing temperatures and meant hundreds of schools and factories have closed to conserve fuel. Hundreds of thousands of people across the Balkans, the worst-affected region, found themselves without heating and some hospitals were forced to close in Serbia as temperatures dipped below minus 10C (14F).

A senior US diplomat warned that Nato might have to intervene to help alliance members such as Bulgaria and Romania if the crisis drags on. “There is a commercial dispute at the heart of this, but this also has political overtones [becasue] we have seen Russia over time using such events to gain political leverage,” Kurt Volker, the US Ambassador to Nato, said.

Read the full article here.

There is a great series of maps and graphics that clarify this situation here.

Thanks to Aesthetic Traditionalist for pointing out this article.


Russia 08/27/08

From the article:
Britain led a chorus of support for Ukraine on Wednesday as western fears rose of possible Russian attempts to build on its victory in Georgia by threatening neighbouring states.

Speaking during a visit to Kiev, foreign secretary David Miliband called on the European Union and Nato to prepare for “hard-headed engagement” with Moscow following its military action in Georgia.

“Russia must not learn the wrong lessons from the Georgia crisis. There can be no going back on fundamental principles of territorial integrity, democratic governance and international law,” he said.

Meanwhile, the US avoided a potential clash with Russia by diverting two aid-carrying warships to the Georgian-controlled Batumi instead of the Moscow-controlled Georgian port of Poti.

Read the article here.

From the article:
Russia is considering arming its Baltic fleet with nuclear warheads for the first time since the cold war, senior military sources warned last night.

The move, in response to American plans for a missile defence shield in Europe, would heighten tensions raised by the advance of Russian forces to within 20 miles of Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, yesterday.

Under the Russian plans, nuclear warheads could be supplied to submarines, cruisers and fighter bombers of the Baltic fleet based in Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave between the European Union countries of Poland and Lithuania. A senior military source in Moscow said the fleet had suffered from underfunding since the collapse of communism. “That will change now,” said the source.

“In view of America’s determination to set up a missile defence shield in Europe, the military is reviewing all its plans to give Washington an adequate response.”

The Russians have already indicated that they may point nuclear missiles at western Europe from bases in Kaliningrad and Belarus. They are also said to be thinking of reviving a military presence in Cuba.

Read the article here.

From the article:
Now that Russia has humiliated Georgia with a punishing military offensive, it may shift its attention to reining in pro-Western Ukraine, another American ally in the former Soviet Union.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s first order of business likely will be to try to thwart Ukraine’s bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

“The Moscow authorities will use this opportunity to remind Ukraine of the damages of allying itself with NATO,” said Geoffrey Smith at Renaissance Capital investment bank in Kiev.

The U.S. has long seen Georgia and Ukraine as counterweights to Russia’s influence in the region. Opposition leaders in the two countries came to power after U.S.-backed popular protests in 2003 and 2004. Their ascension advanced an American strategy of expanding NATO to include both countries and securing energy routes from the Caspian Sea that bypass Russia. The BP Plc-led Baku- Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline to Turkey runs through Georgia.

The future effectiveness of that policy is now in doubt, with Georgia’s U.S.-educated President Mikheil Saakashvili, 40, weakened by a five-day blitz that his American patrons were powerless to halt.

Medvedev, 42, and Putin, 56, say Russia began the offensive in response to a drive by Georgia to restore control over the breakaway region of South Ossetia. Now Russia has ousted Georgian forces from there and from Abkhazia, another separatist region, and destroyed much of the central government’s military.

Read the article here.

Quote from the article:

“The new Cold War won’t be like the last one, with massed tank divisions stretched across the German plain ready to repulse a Communist invasion of Western Europe. No, the looming power struggle between resurgent Russian nationalism and Western liberty will be determined by raw economic muscle and political clout or, in Russia’s case, blackmail and intimidation.

You have only to look at the implosion of Ukraine’s fledgling democratic institutions to see the effectiveness of the new tactics the Russian bear is using to claw back its influence over its former empire.”

See the full article here.

Diplomacide Mothballed

Diplomacide has been mothballed.
October 2018
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