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What does this mean for the EU and Russia?

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posted on Oct, 29 2006 @ 10:17 PM
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I am from the United States...but I am so tired of reading all about my country and what it is doing 99% of the time.

news.bbc.co.uk...

It seems that Putin rejected a charter allowing European businesses equal privleges in Russia as Russian businesses, and shot down any attempt of EU leaders to talk about Russia's human rights record.

The article says EU leaders are "shocked".

What does this mean for the future of the EU and Russia?




posted on Oct, 29 2006 @ 10:21 PM
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If I had a dollar for everytime the EU was 'shocked' I'd be a rich man...

The EU is always shocked when someone doesn't want to go along with them.



posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 03:38 AM
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Retinoid,

The reason why Europe pressures Russia is the conflict currently going on between Georgia and Russia.

Last month Russian authorities arrested four Georgian men who were who were suspected of spying on Russian territory. At least, that's the Russian side of the story. Generally, it is believed that Russia does not like Georgia to adopt Western principles, which also applied for Ukraine (remember what happened to Viktor Yushchenko?).

Anyhow, Russian authorities are making life for Georgians living in Russia impossible. Hundreds of Russian Georgians are being deported, Georgian owned business are raided and closed and imports of Georgian products have been banned.

However, the conflict does not influence ties between Russia and Europe. Russia needs Europe and the other way around. Europe is dependent on Russian gas and oil, while Russia is dependent on Europe being a customer, but also for other exports and imports.

[1. The EU is Russia's largest trade partner, accounting for nearly 25% (close to € 20 billion) of Russia's imports and some 35% (€ 45 billion) of her export trade. Russia's share in EU external trade in 2000 was 4.4% of imports and 2.1% of exports. Thereby, Russia was the EU's sixth largest trading partner after the USA, Switzerland, Japan, Norway and China. She is likely to rank higher in 2001 as a result of considerable growth in bilateral trade. The structure of bilateral trade continues to display a marked imbalance, with fuel and primary products representing the bulk of Russian exports (Russia provides over 15% of the EU's needs in imported fuel. Oil and gas enter the EU at zero tariffs.) - as opposed to the predominance of finished industrial goods in imports from the EU.

Source

The bottom line is that not much has changed. Russia continues to mistreat Georgians, while economic ties between Europe and Russia are unaffected.



posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 10:18 PM
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This is not just about Georgia, although Georgia is a sizable thorn in Russia's side right now.


This is primarily and above all about energy supplies for Europe for the next century. Russia is already the top exporter of both oil and natural gas in the world. Its neighbors- especially Kazakhstan and Turmenistan- combined also have more energy reserves than Saudi Arabia. And all of that unexploited potential in a region which has not been troubled by the wars and civil strifes of the Middle East (yet).

In the 90's Russia let most of its energy production slip from its control into the hands of about a dozen oligarchs. These oligarchs developed extensive ties with the West, and began dealing out contracts to Western oil firms (especially BP and Shell); in return the West backed them with political support (Khodorkovsky and Berezovky especially). And now Putin decided to get the energy back under national control- AND RIGHTLY SO.

Today Russia and Europe and interdependent. Russia sells energy to Europe, and Europe provides funds to boost Russia's budget and economy. However this is not a perfect two-way relationship. There is always market for oil and gas wherever Russia turns- China, US, Europe, India, etc; so Russia is not really dependent on Europe. However Europe has virtually nowhere else to go. US and China are in a race to secure oil reserves in Middle East and Africa. Without Russian resources Europe will not be able to offset the losses in short term.

So Putin correctly saw an opportunity for Russia to demand some concesions from Europe, since Russia is holding most of the cards in this game. To put it into simple terms these are the basic concesions:

1. Europe and US will get off Russia's back on human rights and democracy and other ubiqitous concepts favored by Western politicians. Let Russians run Russia (and with popular support thats what Putin is doing) and stay out of its politics.

2. Europe will allow Russian government to invest in major enterprises, including energy firms in Europe. In return Russia will grant contracts to these and other firms to develop and extract oil resources together with Russian firms.

3. Another implied but unrealistic concesion, is that the West will stay out of Russia's traditional sphere of influence (this includes Ukraine, Tajikistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan.


Neither of these things Europe has complied with. Europeans take every opportunity to point fingers at Russia and show case Putin as a dictator in disguise to make themselves seem better in comparison. US and NATO have taken every chance possible to encroach into Russia's sphere of influence. And while in the 90's Russia had written contracts worth tens of billions of dollars, for Western oil firms to extract and develop Russian resources, the West has not complied in letting Russia invest in their industries. Britain has blocked Russian investments (as far as I heard), and others seem to be doing the same.

Putin believes that if Russia gives the West "free" access to its energy and resources, the West should give Russian government free access to its industries for investment. This means- you can drill our oil, but we become part owners of your companies. Europe is resisting this right now, and Putin in turn is showing European contracts the door. They in turn are making it seem as if the arguement is about human rights and other nonesense.

In my opion Putin's strategy is very smart. Instead of just opening your doors to exploitation by the West, and simply selling your resources while some Western firm makes a huge profit on it, Putin wants Russia to be an equal partner in this exploitation. Just think about it: BP and Exxon Mobil and Conoco Phillips and others are making tens of billions of dollars mostly by selling resources of other nations. This excess capital, is extremely unproportionately divided between them and the host countries being exploited.

Middle East did something about it and formed OPEC. Russia is trying to do something about it, and if Europe doesn't let it just might be forced to settle with second best offer- China. So Europe should play its few cards right, or they just might be left without a share of the pie.

And this also concerns the race to ensure access to resources of CIS countries. The Caspian pipeline is now operating, but its future is questionable due to political instability in Azerbaijan. Russia is pumping oil from Turkmenistan, and selling it at profit to Europe. Kazakhstan is a pot of gold as far as energy hungry powers are concerned.



As far as I monitor current events, the "battle" for control of Kazakhstan has now began. This is the country to monitor in the next decade for similar events to Georgia and Ukraine. Both sides (US and Russia) are desperately vying for influence in Kazakhstan (and so is Borat it seems
). Both are offering huge incentives to the Kazakh government to contract them for energy development. I fear this could lead to an eventual revolution in Kazakhstan, possibly involving radical Islam (Kazakh are Muslim, while Ukraine and Georgia are both Christian). This would effectively spread the strife and conflict of the Middle East into Mid Asia, and then onto surrounding regions. Russia is very concerned about this right now.

[edit on 31-10-2006 by maloy]



posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 10:33 PM
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Originally posted by Mdv2
Generally, it is believed that Russia does not like Georgia to adopt Western principles, which also applied for Ukraine (remember what happened to Viktor Yushchenko?).


Western principles? What principles would that be? Capitalism- Russia has perfectly embraced Capitalism and has no issues with its neighbors doing the same. Democracy- Russia stands in the way of Democracy no more so than US does. Shevarnadze and Yanukovich were elected presidents, and Putin has by far more support than most Western presidents dreamed of. Human Rights- mafia lords putting a hit on some reporter for their political sponsors, or finding random reasons to invade countries and bomb their cities: which is a bigger violation of it? Foreign Influence- every empire and superpower has puppet governments around the world, US not the least. So Russian democracy and its stance on "Western principles" is not much different from Europe or US.



Originally posted by Mdv2
Anyhow, Russian authorities are making life for Georgians living in Russia impossible. Hundreds of Russian Georgians are being deported, Georgian owned business are raided and closed and imports of Georgian products have been banned.


100 questionable individuals deported. Millions of Georgians remaining in Russia as if nothing happened. In you opinion is it wrong to deport illegal immigrants in US or Europe or elsewhere? If not lets just open our borders and let economics control the migrant flows. Georgian bussinesses are for the most part prospering as always. Georgians continue to sell produce on local markets. Little has changed, despite the Western media paying so much attention to this.



Originally posted by Mdv2
However, the conflict does not influence ties between Russia and Europe. Russia needs Europe and the other way around. Europe is dependent on Russian gas and oil, while Russia is dependent on Europe being a customer, but also for other exports and imports.


Europe needs Russia more than Russia needs Europe. Oil resources are limited geographically, while customers and market for oil is worldwide and continues to grow. Europe has almost nowhere else to turn for energy, especially natural gas which can only be transported by expensive pipe networks. Russia however can turn to markets for oil worldwide. It can easily sell gas and oil to China for the same profit.

This is what makes OPEC so powerful- that it was capable to suffocate the US economy in the 70's. This is what will make Russia and exporters like Kazakhstan powerful in the near future. Its really a one-way relationship: the West depends on energy resources. In Middle East US can make it a two-way relationship by simply invading whoever abuses their energy power too much. Invading Russia will prove somewhat harder even if you have puppets in Georgia naming streets after US Presidents.



posted on Nov, 25 2006 @ 02:52 AM
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Europe needs Russia more than Russia needs Europe.

Wrong. We don't need Russia at all. Actually, we don't need to use fossil fuels at all.

We could import oil and gas from any other country, like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait etc., or stop using fossil fuels at all, if our traiterous PMs so wished. The Iraqis have larger oil reserves than the rest of the world combined (which is why Iraq was invaded).



Europe has almost nowhere else to turn for energy, especially natural gas which can only be transported by expensive pipe networks.

We can import oil and gas from anywhere, there are many alternative suppliers. And we don't even have to use fossil fuels at all, we could burn peat and wood and build NEPs.



(Mod edit: Insults removed. --Majic)

[edit on 11/25/2006 by Majic]



posted on Nov, 25 2006 @ 04:18 AM
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Originally posted by DissolveTheCND
The Iraqis have larger oil reserves than the rest of the world combined (which is why Iraq was invaded).


This is patently false. Saudi Arabia, Canada and Iran each alone have more proven reserves than Iraq.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 03:02 AM
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The Russians have at least some assemblance of common sense. Why the H*ll would they want to give the Europeans the same breaks as hometown businesses. Its idiotic any way you look at it. Russia shouldn't be a part of the EU anyway.



posted on Apr, 29 2007 @ 07:23 AM
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Hahahaha! The Germans are SENTENCED to obey the Russians. Their former government, composed of FSB-financed parties (the SPD and the Greens), began the process of NPS closures. As renewable powerstations are unreliable, the only alternatives are Russian fossil fuels. Their last NPS is scheduled to be closed 2020. Their government has changed, but the CDU is a leftist party (although it claims to be a rightist party) and the SPD is FSB-financed.

The Germans have inspired most other European nations (like the Spaniards and the twits - I mean the Swedes) to close their NPSes too. The result will be the same.

We Brits and the French have okayed new NPSes, so we will be independent. The Czechs and the Slovakians too. The rest better doesn't annoy Putin.

[edit on 29-4-2007 by INeedHelp]



posted on Apr, 30 2007 @ 07:19 PM
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I´d be really interested in your "source" that the SPD or the Greens are "financed by the FSB".

Nevertheless, its not true. The SPD heavily campaigned with environmental issues. The Greens even originated in the anti-nuclear movement (active for over 30 years) and they made it top priority during their election campaign. They were voted in, the end of nuclear energy in Germany was the will of the people. Whether that coincides with Russian interests is an entirely different question.

By the way, both Sweden and Spain have been in a political discussion about Nuclear power phase-out far longer than the Germans.



posted on May, 2 2007 @ 02:56 AM
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Originally posted by Lonestar24
Nevertheless, its not true.

Wrong. The Greens and the SPD ARE financed by Moscow. If you weren't unknowledgeable, you would know that Schroeder was working for the FSB. He has been appointed chairman of the organisation which is building the Baltic pipeline (increasing the quantity of NG imported by Germany), so now everyone except yourself knows who he was working for.



The SPD campaigned with environmental issues.

Of course - their boss was Schroeder - everyone knows who he was working for. The SPD will now ensure that the pipeline is built, and that the German military will continue to be decrepit as it has been since 1991. No honest political party would try to make Germany UNSOVEREIGN - only a corrupt political party.



The Greens even originated in the anti-nuclear movement (active for over 30 years) and they made it top priority during their election campaign.

The Greens are financed by the FSB too. They (and the FSB-financed SPD) not only advocate the Baltic pipeline but also oppose the ABM defence system. No honest political party would try to make Germany UNSOVEREIGN - only a corrupt political party.


They were voted in, the end of nuclear energy in Germany was the will of the people.

Politicians don't represent voters. And opinion polls indicate that the majority of Germans want to maintain nuclear reactors (or to say it succintly, you don't know what you're talking about).

[edit on 2-5-2007 by INeedHelp]



posted on May, 3 2007 @ 05:30 AM
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Originally posted by INeedHelp
Wrong. The Greens and the SPD ARE financed by Moscow. If you weren't unknowledgeable, you would know that Schroeder was working for the FSB. He has been appointed chairman of the organisation which is building the Baltic pipeline (increasing the quantity of NG imported by Germany), so now everyone except yourself knows who he was working for.


I didn´t ask for much, just a somewhat comprehensive explanation of your outrageous theory. But it boils down to your usual dangerous halfknowledge coupled with your irrational paranoia.

First, Schroeder is working for the Nord Stream AG, owned IN PART by Gazprom only (so even if Schröder was "controlled" by the FSB, that wouldnt extend to control over Nord StreamAG as well), and Gazprom (which MAY be influenced by the FSB to some extent) is neither controlled nor operated by the FSB; they are far too important for that as an international political and economic power. Thing about the extreme words you chose. There is no question that Schröders actions are fishy at best... but there is simply NO valid connection to be made between the political program of ending nuclear energy (discussed since `98 and set in stone in 2000) and the Nord Stream which came to fruition only weeks before Schröders turn ended in ´05.



The SPD campaigned with environmental issues.
Of course - their boss was Schroeder - everyone knows who he was working for. The SPD will now ensure that the pipeline is built, and that the German military will continue to be decrepit as it has been since 1991. No honest political party would try to make Germany UNSOVEREIGN - only a corrupt political party.

...
The Greens are financed by the FSB too. They (and the FSB-financed SPD) not only advocate the Baltic pipeline but also oppose the ABM defence system. No honest political party would try to make Germany UNSOVEREIGN - only a corrupt political party.


Thank you, I did not know that the funding of the German military had anything even remotely in common with the baltic pipeline; now that I heard it, it becomes apparent that the FSB has 100% control over the German soldiers as well!

Now seriously, while your claim that Schröder has had contacts with the FSB is neither provable nor irrefutable (but it is downright ludicrous) - it really requires a good stretch of imagination and INVENTION hat the SPD and the Greens are financed and controlled by the FSB as well. Both parties are, by the way, majorly funded by its members and their donations, plus their lawful funding for the positions they were elected to. I could give you links to that but you wouldnt care, so what the hell.

And the Baltic Pipeline also does not make Germany "unsovereign". Why? Because it doesnt change a bit about the energy source diversion in Germany. Germany, as well as the better part of the EU (The Netherlands are Nord Stream participants, too), has been dependent (but not exclusively) on russian gas for years. The new pipeline is just a means of accessing that gas cheaper and more safe. Yes, more safe! Your implicit claim is that Russia is unreliant, BUT: Russia, through all its crisises, economic revolution, wars etc. has fulfilled every Gas contract and its quotas with Germany for more than 30 years and has never once used it as leverage against Germany. So the Russians pretty much have a confidence bonus. Which leaves us with the transit states which are actually those which pose a higher risk of national instability, or, to disrupt the gas delivery - In the case of Poland even a hostile political stance against Germany.

You see, I don´t condone how the gas disputes between the east european transit states were handled, but that involves all sides. BUT I think Russia was well within its rights to introduce market-based pricing. I pay these fees as well. Nevermind the huge amount of gas that was leeched and stolen and the unjustifiedly high transit fees, and the undue influence power these transit states had AND (ab-)used - now who was holding western Europe in its grip exactly?

Nevertheless, Germany is a key member of the pan-EU project to further diversify energy sources - so the reliance on Russian gas will decrease if anything, and not increase. The proble simply is: You have to buy the gas from who has it and not from those you´d WISH to have it. European sources alone cannot satisfy the demand, and Russia is the favorable choice over the middle-eastern suppliers. It is close, it has proven reliable to us, they have a government that is at least acceptable to our ethical standards. So where exactly is the big problem?





They were voted in, the end of nuclear energy in Germany was the will of the people.

Politicians don't represent voters. And opinion polls indicate that the majority of Germans want to maintain nuclear reactors (or to say it succintly, you don't know what you're talking about).


Sorry Champ, but in a representative democracy politicians DO represent voters. In case you missed it, the keyword is "representative". (And in my personal opinion, an elected party that does EXACTLY what it promised during the election campaign possibly, just MAYBE might be a good representant of its voters. But thats just me...)

I presume you´d like to twist and turn that statement again to fit your opinion or to prove your nonexistant point, but there is are little obstacles called reality or "political theory" to that.

And as usual, you resort to calling others "unknowledgeable" because you ran out of compelling arguments. No wonder since your discussion points are simply grabbed out of thin air. It took me all of 2 minutes to find several opinion polls from different respected sources that show the contrary of what you invent to be the german public opinion (1, 2, 3). In general, the anti-nuclear movement has been THE strongest coherent environmental peer group in Germany for the past decades. Don´t lection me about whats going on in my OWN society, buddy.

Hmm, didnt you also recently called others board rule violators for posting "knowingly false information"? How about your own misinformation? The pot calling the kettle black, I´d say. And there is another rule that might interest you since you seem to value them so much... its the rule against multiple accounts on ATS.

[edit on 3/5/2007 by Lonestar24]



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