Wotka World Wide

Monday, October 19, 2009

Russia worries about the price of oil, not a nuclear Iran, from the Wall Street Journal:

Last Wednesday in Moscow, the remaining illusions the Obama administration held for cooperation with Russia on the Iranian nuclear program were thrown in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's face. Stronger sanctions against Iran would be "counterproductive," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, just days after President Dmitry Medvedev said sanctions were likely inevitable. This apparent inconsistency should remind us that Mr. Medvedev is little more than a well-placed spectator, and that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who discounted sanctions in a statement from Beijing, is still the voice that matters.

This slap comes after repeated concessions—canceling the deployment of missile defenses in Eastern Europe, muted criticism of Russia's sham regional elections—from the White House. Washington's conciliatory steps have given the Kremlin's rulers confidence they have nothing to fear from Mr. Obama on anything that matters.

And nothing matters more to Mr. Putin and his oligarchs than the price of oil. Even with oil at $70 a barrel, Russia's economy is in bad straits. Tension in the Middle East, even an outbreak of war, would push energy prices higher. A nuclear-armed Iran would, of course, be harmful to Russian national security, but prolonging the crisis is beneficial to the interests of the ruling elite: making money and staying in power.

Read the whole thing.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home