Russia has for a long time regarded its energy reserves as an instrument to reach its own strategic goals. Moscow is trying to regain its great power status but does not seem to understand that, with its methods, it completely contradicts itself as a trade partner.
The Moscow-Kiev controversy represents a warning to the E.U. Instead of strengthening our dependence on Russia, we must find an alternative energy policy. The gas war between Russia and Ukraine threatens to affect the rest of the European continent. By using gas as a means of pressure Vladimir Putin reaffirms himself as an unreliable trade partner not only to Ukraine but to the whole E.U. as well. However, Europe has depended for years on Russian gas and will therefore be the first one affected by any dispute which may arise in this regard. This is why Europe should put pressure on both Putin and Yushchenko so that they resume negotiations and prepare a plan that will put an end to the issue. Ukraine-Russia relations are not a bilateral issue but all Europe’s responsibility.

Rzezpospolita (Poland)

Rosja zakręca kurek”, by Mariusz Przybylski, Rzezpospolita, January 2, 2006.