What did Greece expect?
Being dependent on Russia for up to 40 percent of its energy needs because it relied on coal for generations – and still does in the 21st Century when even the internal combustion engine is on the way out – was a recipe for blackmail.
And that’s what happened when Russian President Vladimir ‘Snake Eyes’ Putin, seeking his invasion of Ukraine fumbling because the Ukrainians fight like Greeks against oppressors, turned to shutting off the flow for Poland and Bulgaria, and Greece could have been next.
That’s because Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, putting on his big boy pants, properly denounced the invasion and sent weapons before rethinking it a bit and saying he would keep sending tweets of support but no more arms for Ukraine.
He proved he’s no Gerhard Schroeder though, that being that little weasel and former German Chancellor who after he left office in 2005 was hired by Putin to lead the shareholder committee of Nord Stream.
That’s the Russian-controlled company in charge of building the first undersea gas pipeline directly connecting Russia and Germany and the reason why German didn’t have to worry about having Putin turn off the pipe.
Putin – violating Russia’s contract with the Eunuch Union – demanded to be paid in roubles since sanctions over the invasion exempted member states from continuing to buy Russian gas and energy.
Greece’s next payment is due at the end of May and Mitsotakis said the blood money that’s financing the slaughter of children and innocent civilians in Ukraine would be paid on time because…what can he do? Greece needs the gas.
Greece – where there’s so much sun that not tapping solar energy should be a crime – will go back to using coal for years to power electric plants as one way of trying to wean off Russian gas, which came about 20 years too late. Make that 50.
Putin is so vindictive he could still order shutting off the supply to Greece, although he needs the money but it wouldn’t be the first time someone of his ilk shot himself in the foot.
The EU long ago proved itself gutless and ignored passionate pleas from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to stop buying Russian gas and as long as Greece and other countries were, the sanctions were mostly a feel-good charade.
A ‘real embargo’ on Russian energy by Western countries could stop the war in Ukraine, Putin’s former chief economic adviser Andrei Illarionov said, adding that Putin “did not take seriously” other countries’ threats to reduce their energy usage, and they really won’t, because the EU gets 40 percent of its gas and 27 percent of its oil from Russia so what’s the immediate alternative? Wind?
The answer was to call Putin’s bluff, stop buying his oil and gas, get through the spring and summer, crank up alternatives that won’t come for years and choke off his money supply before he choked off the fuel supply.
The EU’s 97-pound weakling foreign chief Josep Borrel, who looks like he’d faint if Putin gave him THE STARE, told the BBC that, “a billion (euros) is what we pay Putin every day for the energy he supplies us.” That was blackmail before the blackmail.
Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney urged countries at the Useless Nations to bring international justice for war crimes in Ukraine so evidence does not sit in storage – as it has done for victims of Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria.
“Ukraine is, today, a slaughterhouse. Right in the heart of Europe,” Clooney told an informal UN Security Council meeting on accountability in Ukraine, said France 24. That would be the council on which Russia still sits, so count out the UN and it looks like the only country not kow-towing to Russia is Ukraine.
Greece will speed up gas exploration as it looks to cut its reliance on Russian energy, aiming at its first test drilling in more than two decades by the end of 2023, Mitsotakis said earlier in April, reported Reuters.
The invasion and fears over a loss of gas supplies in Europe sent prices jumping too, the natural effect of giving someone a gun and ammunition and asking him not to use it if you get antsy that you’re being used or pressured.
The EU said it wants to cut its use of Russian cuts by two-thirds this year and completely phase it out by 2027 but you’ll see Ben Simmons playing for the Brooklyn Nets before that happens.
Greece’s relationship with Russia is now almost as bad as it is with Turkey, especially after expelling a dozen Russian diplomats which will likely bring retaliation and see Greek envoys in Moscow being shown the door.
For all the bluster, don’t be surprised at some point to see EU leaders, including Mitsotakis, to be talking to Putin at a G-20 or a G-7 or one of those G’s that pass for legitimate conferences but are just photo ops.
The Greek leader promised “full solidarity” with Ukraine but gave about half of that because he had one eye on Putin, who doesn’t blink, that being typical of his species. And unless Greece finds a geyser big enough to provide power for electricity it will use coal and keep paying Russia the wages of fear.
And it won’t be in roubles.