Monday, 3 March 2014

Could Ukraine conflict trigger Euro gas supply crisis? - or worse?

The tragic events unfolding in Ukraine could trigger a crisis in gas supplies to central and South eastern Europe, and in the worst case scenario also to Germany and Scandinavia. The UK is unlikely to be directly affected by supply cut off per se since the UK does not contract to receive gas from Russia. However, British consumers are now highly likely to experience increases in gas prices, first as gas markets react to increasing geopolitical uncertainty, and later on if gas supply is actually disrupted.

Disputes between Ukraine and Russia have led to gas supplies being disrupted before, notably in January 2009 when swathes of Southern and Eastern Europe suffered terribly as gas supplies were cut off in mid winter. Some are more laid back about prospects than others. Bloomberg is correct in saying that Europe is much better prepared than 2009 to deal with such a crisis, with the Nordstream gas pipeline now taking gas direct to Germany and Scandinavia from Russia rather than through Ukraine. But that leaves several European countries still exposed to crisis, and although contingency measures are much better prepared than in 2009, it has to be remembered that the disruption in 2009 only lasted two weeks. This time the disruption could be rather longer.

Of course, in the absolute worst case scenario, the price of British gas could be one of our lesser worries. The warmongers of a variety of different sorts are already working hard to produce a global catastrophe. Leading them of course is the corrupt authoritarian regime in Russia whose irresponsible acts have no justification, but others are rushing towards the abyss. The Government in Kiev seems itself driven as much by the nationalistic zeal of its protestors surrounding the Parliament as a concern for national unity and international peace. Meanwhile, in the UK, the right wing is already talking about 'war with Russia'.

How many millions will have to die to satisfy these people?

See the links below:

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