Prediction: Ukraine will soon have an “election” on wether to join back with the Russian empire; just like what happened in Crimea. With thousands of Russian troops and tons of military hardware along the eastern border of Ukraine and Russia increasing gas prices 80 percent in the so-called sovereign nation, what do you think the percentage of “YES” votes will be?
From Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.
Over the last few days, though, Gazprom has raised gas prices by 80% to Ukraine as Russian troops still gather on their common border.
To be more specific, Russia cut out a $100 per 1,000 cubic meter discount that was agreed to with the ousted Ukraine president, and they boosted prices another $100 per 1,000 cubic meters that was – in effect – a lease payment for a naval base in Crimea. Since Russia now owns Crimea, the lease is “no longer in effect.” None of that matters to the citizens of Ukraine, who are at the mercy of the Russian government who controls the natural gas industry in the area.
Russia raised the gas price for Ukraine on Thursday for the second time this week, almost doubling it in three days and piling pressure on a neighbor on the brink of bankruptcy in the crisis over Crimea.
The increase, announced in Moscow by Russian natural gas producer Gazprom, means Ukraine will pay 80 percent more for its gas than before the initial increase on Monday.
Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said the latest move, two weeks after Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region, was unacceptable and warned that he expected Russia to increase pressure on Kiev by limiting supply to his country.
“There is no reason why Russia would raise the gas price for Ukraine … other than one – politics,” Yatseniuk told Reuters in an interview in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
Back to Morrissey.
This isn’t just a message to Kyiv, though. It’s a message to eastern Europe as well, especially NATO partners who have begun to mobilize their own forces in response to a newly-acquisitive Russian state. Vladimir Putin wants to play hardball on economics at the least, and insists on assigning a price to a refusal to accept his new hegemony in the region.