Streetwise Professor

February 4, 2008

What, Me Worry?

Filed under: Energy,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 9:08 am

EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs channels Alfred E. Neuman in this RFE/RL interview. Although Piebalgs is only episodically coherent in this exchange, when he is comprehensible he downplays any concern about Gazprom’s strategy, its intent, or the necessity of a unified European response to the company’s ambitions. He does acknowledge a political element to Gazprom’s Serbian acquisition (what was his first clue?), but, he says, “I don’t see [that] with any other country.” There are none so blind, etc., etc.

Since Piebalgs, the EU’s leading energy official, is not exactly sounding the tocsin to raise the alarm against Gazprom’s predations, one wonders where leadership in Europe will come from. Not everybody is so Neumanesque as Piebalgs; the IEA has warned that Gazprom’s strategy needs watching. But as important as IEA is, more is needed from Europe’s political leaders. Alas, this does not seem in prospect. Europe seems all too willing to let the snake into the garden. They will be very, very sorry they did.

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