The Cold War II — only this time it won’t be a nuclear winter.

December 29, 2005

Russia today threatened to cut off gas from Ukraine unless they begin paying four-fold what they are currently paying for their gas imports.  It “demanded that Kiev agree to pay $220-$230 (£128-£133) per 1,000 cubic metres, compared with the $50 it had previously paid instead of transit fees for gas heading to Western Europe.” (Page, Times Online).  This could mean a very, very cold winter for not only Ukraine, but also western European countries that depend on Russian oil imports for 80% of their oil consumption.

Some analyists claim that the situation isn’t worth panicking over:

“Germany can be supplied for more than two month from gas storage tanks,” Martin Weyand, head of the Federal Association of German Gas and Water Economy (BGW) pointed out this week. (DW-World.de)

However, with oil prices as high as they are in the states, such developments can make us wonder: is the party over?