11.18.2009

Pipelines and rights

The leaders of Turkmenistan don't need to worry about human rights -- they have a trump card:
"There is a risk that the Turkmen regime is learning to play to Europe's need for 'progress' on human rights by making small cosmetic reforms that could be reversed in the future," the Global Witness report said.

Western nations' plans to tap into Central Asia's vast gas supplies hinge on the success of Nabucco, a pipeline project backed by the U.S. and the EU but whose commercial viability is threatened by rival routes proposed by Russia.
Unfortunately, European leaders can't apparently see the writing on the wall -- Nabucco is hopelessly mired in Turkish-Armenian politics, and going nowhere fast. Europe is selling its moral authority for nothing.

Meanwhile, the director of communications for the Nord Stream pipeline is fighting claims that that pipeline will be used as a tool of Moscow's foreign policy:
The Nord Stream pipeline is not just intended to supply Germany: it will supply customers in many European countries, including Denmark, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom and France. Long-term contracts have been signed.

Nord Stream is not in competition with either of the new pipelines planned for Europe’s so-called “Southern Corridor”—it will be a new northern route, primarily serving northern Europe. All three pipelines will be needed if the EU is to meet its energy security and climate protection goals.
Of the "other two pipelines" mentioned, one is Nabucco, the other is South Stream -- another Russian venture that would continue to tie Europe's energy stability to the whims of Moscow's foreign policy. And of course, no one mentions Russia's human-rights record when talking about its Streams.