The 24-Hour Question

gas-nozzle-money.jpgTime is running out…but for who?  The EU Presidency, currently residing with Mirek Topolanek, the Czech prime minister, has just issued Russia with a 24-hour deadline to restore gas supplies to the EU via Ukraine’s pipelines, but there is little evidence to suggest that anyone other than Russia is holding all the cards.

Topolanek is threatening a ‘strong EU intervention’ if the deadline is not met – but with press speculation abounding lately in regard to just how much power and influence the EU actually holds – particularly given its seeming inability to prevent any of the horrific bloodshed in Gaza – one wonders just what kind of intervention this would be.  This report suggests that the EU could send in its own observers to defuse the situation…but you don’t have to look too far back to find an instance of such an attempt falling flat.

Until the EU finds a means of supplementing its energy needs with a more diverse set of options, or until building on the embattled Nabucco pipeline gets off the ground, it seems unlikely that there is much to prevent Russia from doing whatever it wants in terms of energy relations.