Russia’s Breathtaking Gas Hypocrisy
One of those truly amazing moments in the annals of Russian hypocrisy occurred last week, a demonstration of such flagrant two-faced dishonesty as only the Russians can produce.
No sooner had “prime minister” Vladimir Putin expressed outrage over Ukraine daring to import less gas from Russia than expected than Putin himself was infuriating Turkmenistan by refusing their gas shipments to Russia. According to the Turkemen, in their case Russia’s action resulted in a massive explosion at a terminal that was not prepared to have gas flows back up so unexpectedly, Russia having given no warning of its actions. Russia threatened to fine Ukraine for not buying enough; it didn’t offer to pay a fine to Turkmenistan, of course.
As always, Russia’s actions cut off its long Pinnoccio nose to spite its double face. Aside from making itself a ridiculous spectacle of childish hypocrisy, both Ukraine and Turkmenistan are now furious with Russia, and bending even more dramatically towards the West. Russia alienates nations who should be its friends (compare Russia’s relations with Ukraine to America’s with Canada, its relations with Georgia to America’s with Mexico) and makes itself look like an unreliable third-rate power reduced to ludicrous displays of petulant fury rather than intelligent policy.
Russia’s arrogance, in thinking it can get away with this sort of nonsense, is the natural result of the total absence of critical parties in parliament and of objective reporting in the news media. More and more every day, those who rule Russia do so from an Ivory Tower which prevents them from perceiving the world accurately, like the infamous Emperor with his New Clothes.
Just as such a situation could not continue in the USSR, it cannot continue in Putin’s Russia. Just as surely and inexorably, modern Russia is being eaten away from the inside. Just as surely and unexpectedly, it will collapse.