11.05.2009

Elsewhere

I'm talking tango over at Registan.net, where I'm now a contributor:
The politics of hydrocarbons in Central Asia has been a regular ballroom lately, with strange partners pairing up and then dancing apart.

And a commenter there brings up specters of the Manic Street Preachers!

The rest of the post after the jump -- your comments (and clever references) are welcome here, too.


The dance begins in Denmark, to which country Vladimir Putin has just pledged to increase the flow of gas:
We are grateful to the Danish Government for giving permission for the construction of the Nord Stream gas transmission system through Danish territorial waters and part of the Danish exclusive economic zone in the Baltic Sea.
We greatly appreciate this prompt and sound decision on the part of our colleagues. It is an example of a measured, politically unbiased approach towards energy issues and energy cooperation in Europe.
Bringing this gas transmission system into operation will ensure additional energy supplies to the main European consumers, including Denmark, which will receive 1 billion cubic metres of gas annually through the Nord Stream system. This volume may be increased threefold in the future.
Europe should have some cause to be glad that the Danes have become Russia’s new dancing partner: Ukraine’s refusal to dance with Russia left Europe cold, literally and figuratively. But hard feelings about the dance card could still hurt, and Russia isn’t over Ukraine just yet.

The tangle of the dance in the north has been enticing Europe to the south, where it has been hoping to revive the Nabucco project. It has asked for a dance with Turkmenistan, but other partners may cut in before the dance can get underway.

Before the Turkmen could really get going with Europe, another dance whirled out of control — Armenia cut in while Azerbaijan and Turkey were dancing, and now Azerbaijan is mad. Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan have had their own dance going for a while, but Azerbaijan’s tantrum is threatening to end the party altogether. And so the whole dance could be off just as the Turkmen arrived.