Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/421/4929

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 January 2006

Ukraine/Russia:

Behind the gas conflict

THE CUTTING of gas supplies to Ukraine by Russia's state-owned energy company, Gazprom, is intensifying the political antagonisms between Washington/EU capitals and Moscow.

Dave Carr

Russia's Putin government says the decision to cut gas supplies - after Kiev refused to pay a four-fold price increase - is 'purely a commercial decision'. However, Ukraine's government and the US/EU say Russia is punishing Ukraine following last year's 'orange revolution' (see the socialist, issue 420) that installed the pro-Western Yushchenko regime.

After independence, following the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, Ukraine's pro-Russian governments continued to benefit from subsidised gas imports. But, Yushchenko's aim for Ukraine to join the EU and NATO has alarmed Moscow.

Russia still maintains a naval base at Ukraine's Black Sea port of Sebastopol. Ukraine's government threatens to retaliate against Russia in the gas dispute by demanding increased payments for use of its port facilities. Meanwhile, gas deliveries to a number of European countries - supplied through a pipeline that crosses the Ukraine - have experienced a drop in gas pressure.

Russia says it will restore supplies and accuses Ukraine of stealing gas. Kiev denies this but also says it is entitled to draw on gas from the western pipeline if temperatures fall below freezing.

The EU has suggested talks to resolve the dispute but, notwithstanding how the stalemate between Russia and Ukraine is resolved, securing energy supplies is increasingly occupying Western governments' minds.

Of course, securing energy supplies has always been a strategic objective of imperialism. In recent times this has meant the US-led invasion of Iraq and the US state department backing an attempted right-wing coup against Hugo Chavez, the populist president of oil-rich Venezuela in April 2002.

This geo-political strategy has assumed a greater importance because of the world economy's increasing demand for energy - partly due to the rapid growth in the economies of China and India.

By 2020 two-thirds of the EU's energy requirements will be imported, including 75% of its natural gas needs. With most of the world's oil supplies contained in the volatile Middle East and central Asian states, as well as in a resurgent Russian state, political and military conflicts will become more likely.

As the Blair government 'debates' Britain's future energy needs, advocates of nuclear power are seizing on this insecurity in energy supplies. Powerful companies in the nuclear lobby claim nuclear energy is a viable alternative to insecure and expensive gas and oil imports. Of course, this conveniently ignores the dangers of the technology, especially waste disposal, and the massive costs involved in nuclear energy.

But what the gas supply conflict between the Ukraine and Russia shows is the need for a socialist system of international planning of sustainable energy supplies between countries - something which the world capitalist system, with its inherent conflicts between nation states and its insatiable and destructive drive for profits, is incapable of achieving.


Centrica's gas price hike

THERE HAVE been worries that Russia's decision to cut gas supplies could affect Britain's increasingly fragile energy system where mismanagement and profit-seeking by privateers have already brought higher prices and more dangers of cut-offs.

Centrica, who own British Gas, have already told their customers that they'd pay more for their gas in 2006 as the wholesale cost of fuel keeps soaring. Many British Gas workers could lose their jobs on top of the 2,000 redundancies announced during 2005.

This would be the fourth big price rise in two years and follows rises of 14.2%, 12.4% and 5.9%.

Pensioners, the low-paid and people with young families could be hardest hit. Consumer watchdog energywatch says every 1% increase in fuel prices pushes another 40,000 households into fuel poverty - ie those spending over 10% of their income on fuel bills.

Centrica blamed the rises on British Gas' losses in the last half-year but Centrica's shares prices were still increasing and its profits went up from 1.23 billion last year to an expected 1.53 billion for all 2005.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 5 January 2006:

NHS: Condition critical

'Reforms' destroying the National Health Service

Fighting back against the millionaires' system

Election divisions shows Iraq war is unwinnable for Bush

Behind the gas conflict

Striking against low pay


 

Home   |   The Socialist 5 January 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Ukraine:

triangleEurope and the workers' movement after Brexit

triangleYork Socialist Party: Ukraine and Russia - the history

triangleYork Socialist Party: The history of conflict in the Ukraine

Gas:

triangleMovement challenges Iranian regime

triangleMovement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangleComment: Socialism and truth about Zane

triangleWe're freezing: reverse cuts to boiler replacement schemes!

Russia:

triangleRussia: Ali Feruz, journalist and human rights activist, freed from jail

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: The rise of Stalin

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

Energy:

triangleCourt maintains injunction against fracking protesters

triangleScotland: BiFab workers' occupation and march secures jobs and pay guarantee

International

International

21/2/18

Russia

Russia: Ali Feruz, journalist and human rights activist, freed from jail

21/2/18

South Africa

South Africa: Ramaphosa is a safe pair of hands for capitalism

14/2/18

France

France: rallies in support of oppressed Kurdish people

14/2/18

Unemployed

Big political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed

14/2/18

Brazil

Brazil: Lula conviction confirmed

14/2/18

South Africa

Cape Town drought

7/2/18

China

May's silence is a green light for Chinese repression

7/2/18

Tamil Solidarity

Protesters denounce oppressive Sri Lankan regime

7/2/18

Sudan

Sudan: Mohamed Satti released - global solidarity campaign gets results!

31/1/18

Kurds

Stop the war on the Kurds

31/1/18

Austria

Vienna: 50,000 march against racism and austerity

31/1/18

Kurds

Stop the war on the Kurds

24/1/18

Palestine

Punishment of Tamimi family awakens wave of international solidarity

17/1/18

Hong Kong

Stop repression in Hong Kong and China

17/1/18

Tunisia

Tunisia: explosion of protests against government austerity

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999