In Russia’s Pocket

It looks like the EU is going to need all the help it can get in the way of energy security, if new reports from Ukraine’s RosUkrEnergo are anything to go by.  The company has just announced that Ukraine’s worsening financial crisis is certain to lead to another gas cut-off.  This statement could, of course, be a simple backlash against criticism from Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko, who has long been saying that the company is linked to corrupt politics. 

But Ukraine’s finance minister admitted last week that the $5 billion loan his country wants from Russia ‘will be used to buy [Russian] gas’.  With mounting debts, allegedly corrupt energy intermediaries and total dependency on Russia for gas supplies, how much longer can Ukraine hold out…?  And if it can’t, let’s hope the EU is prepared – at least before next winter…