Will the EU say to Russia: “Three strikes and you’re out”?
By my count, this is the third time in the past five years that Russia has cut off oil supplies to a European Union member state to make a political point.
- Russia cut off Latvia’s oil supply in 2003. Purely co-incidentally, this happened at the same time as a Russian takeover bid for the oil port of Ventspils.
- Russia cut off Lithuania’s oil supply in 2006. Purely co-incidentally, this happened at the same time as the Mazeikiu oil refinery was sold to a Polish firm at the same time as a Russian one.
- And Russia cut off Estonia’s oil supply in 2007. Purely co-incidentally, this happened at the same time as a violent dispute over the location of a Soviet war memorial.
And that’s not counting the number of times that Russia has cut off oil or gas supplies to a non-EU member state, affecting onward gas supply to EU member states.
To all those bureaucrats in Brussels who have been burying your heads in the sand, believing that Russia will never use its dominance over the EU’s energy supply as a political weapon – now’s the time to raise your head, and take a long hard look over the fence at your neigbour to the East.