Deploying the Energy Weapon

Kommersant reports that Russia has warned of one more action aimed at preventing an American missile defence system in Eastern Europe. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that the Iranian missile threat was “implausible,” and so there were no reasons to install antimissile radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland. Simultaneously, and without explanation, Russia reduced its oil deliveries to the Czech Republic by almost half. The Czech Republic signed an agreement with the United States on the location of part of its missile defence system on its territory last week. Kommersant adds that according to Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak, “With all responsibility, I declare that gas trade with the Czech Republic or with any other traditional partner in the field is in no way tied up with sorting out the problem of deploying the third position site of the U.S. missile-defence system in Europe.” Kommersant adds that Senate Armed Forces Committee Carl Levin has said that the missile defences being formed by the United States “are not a defence against Iranian missiles” and the administration of George W. Bush should stop “putting a stick in the Russian eye.” In an interview for Wirtschaftswoche Lukoil vice president, Leonid Fedun comments that his company can not compete with the Russian state because “the state can do everything”. Fedun also expresses doubts in the interview that “state run” Russian companies can develop offshore fields. He states that the shareholders are behind the state intervention in the TNK-BP conflict and that internal circles having called for the Russian state. He speculates this move could be directed towards the sale of the company or get or out of the oil business because to his mind no-one was really interested in TNK.