In its January 2, 2006 edition, French catholic journal La Croix, owned by the Assumptionist Order, devoted a dossier to the new presidency of the G-8 taken by Russia.

For the journal, Russia’s suspension of gas supplies to Ukraine the day it became president of the G-8 shows that such measure is not aimed at exerting pressure on Ukraine but on the rest of members of the group. Other journals have chosen to link the suspension of the supplies to Ukraine with the coming legislative elections in the country to thus proves Russian interference in the electoral campaign. However, these events’ dates have been fixed according to independent agendas: the presidency of the G-8 changes every year, the gas contract was due on December 31, 2005 and legislative elections have been fixed according to the Ukrainian law. There’s no Putin’s plot at all with regard to the dates.

But there’s a more strange fact: La Croix is ironic with regard to the Russian proposals in the G-8 aimed at guaranteeing the energy preparedness of the member States for the suspension of the Ukrainian contract is a difficult situation for Europeans, actually. However, the Russian initiative is aimed at guaranteeing the equitable access of all to energy to prevent the United States and its allies from being tempted to attack oil states like Iraq. Therefore, La Croix’s irony can only be understood on the bases of a prejudice: Russia would have nothing to say with regard to world affairs and, consequently, it should let “Westerners” plunder its wealth.

And a more surprising thing is: for La Croix, as for many others of its Atlantist colleagues, Russia’s demand of putting an end to the Soviet economy and to invoice (facturar) its gas at market prices is an unbearable blackmail. It points out that this decision ("is an evidence of how Russia is willing to use this power"). In Boris Yeltsin’s times, this very same journal described charges imposed on energy based on its real cost by privatized companies that transferred their incomes to the West as a great step.