Thanks to Andy over at Siberian Light for blogging about this “advertisement” for Gazprom published by the BBC. After a little more investigation, I also found this other glowing endorsement of Russia’s main foreign policy weapon. Et tu, Beeb? It is truly a crushing disappointment to see this. It seems that all that money Gazprom is investing in public relations is beginning to pay off with some fluffy, uncritical press. Wouldn’t we all just rather see Gazprom change its policies, rather than change the way they talk about the same old actions?
Here is one choice bit of cheerleading:
Wingas, a joint venture between BASF and Gazprom, is the second-largest gas company in Germany. In an asset swap, Wingas chairman Rainer Seele says, Gazprom increased its stake in the firm – in exchange for giving BASF rights to one of the biggest gas fields in Russia. “It’s a win-win situation,” Mr Seele says, adding that he now spends more time in Moscow than at his headquarters in Germany. Have the recent recent gas disputes had given him second thoughts? “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he says. “They have no interest to run into conflict at all.”
It is not an easy job to supply gas 24 hours a day, 365 days a year without a hitch when the temperatures can drop to as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius. “We’re certainly proud of what we do,” says Mr Vasin. “It’s a special feeling to be part of this work. The responsibility is too enormous to think about.” Gazprom is more than just a business. It is Russia’s most important company, with more than 300,000 employees, and it provides the state with half the energy it needs to run the country. It also accounts for at least 15% of Russia’s hard currency earnings.
Unbelievable. Will the last thinking man to leave the BBC Studios at night please remember to shut off the lights?