As we all know, a few weeks back Vice President-Elect Joe Biden predicted a guaranteed crisis that will be engineered to test the new president. The trick, I think, is to look and see just where that crisis might come from.
Of course, one big spot would be an altercation between Israel and either Syria or Iran. Particularly disturbing is the report that Iran now has enough nuclear fuel to construct a bomb. Lovely notion, is it not?
But where else? I predict Russia. And here is the logic behind my reasoning. I cannot claim credit, as I get my information from a collection of experts around the world, but many are saying the same thing. The troubling fact is, is that they sound extremely convincing to me. So, here goes.
Russia invaded Georgia (not in the US, Grace, in Europe..;)). The reason that they did so, though never admitted, was the fact that Georgia lies on a very key energy trade line. Oil and natural gas pipe right through that country. Russia's economy has been booming because of petrol dollars as well as natural gas, the combination of which makes up a sizeable portion of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
When governments make their budgets, they look ahead to see what the mark will be like. In Russia's case, oil was going at $140 a barrel, with predictions going as high as $500 for next year! Of course, not being stupid, the Russian legislature predicted a conservative value of $70 a barrel for next year. If you saw the market today, the price per barrel is under $50 and there are predictions that it might go as low as $10-$30! The Russian government will lose a significant amount of revenue because of the global economic crisis.
Now then. In Russia there is a large company called Gazprom, which is that country's natural gas provider. For all intents, it is a monopoly which used to be run by Mendenev, the current Russian president. Through parliament, the company was granted permission to form its own 'pipeline security force' designed to stave off would-be terrorist attacks. Of course, the entire force is comprised of former Russian special forces, replete with aircraft, tanks and military-style weaponry. To top it off, they have the support of the Russian military, who will back them if needed.
The reason that this company is important, is that with oil down, Russia's natural gas economy becomes doubly important. Right now, they provide some countries like the Ukraine and Hungary with 70-80% of their natural gas! Russia also gets some supplies at half-price and resells to Europe at full price.
Step in, now, to some smaller countries in the western region that are building gas pipelines through Georgia. The project, called Nabucco, will seriously cut into Russian profits, which are already way down. See the reason why Russia invaded? And, contrary to what may be believed, they are NOT going anywhere soon. They cannot afford to.
Straight from EuroPac:
In Eastern Europe, the Cold-War era pipeline carrying gas into Europe runs through Belarus and Ukraine. Since Ukraine's freedom-loving president Viktor Yushchenko is a friend of the West - even applying for NATO membership - that section of the pipeline has become Russia's Achilles heel. That's because Russia's main "peace-time" weapon to keep down uppity neighbors is natural gas. Consider this:
- Ukraine relies on Russia for 71% of its gas needs.
- Hungary obtains over 80% of its natural gas from Russia.
- The Baltic countries, Finland, and Slovakia are almost entirely dependent on Russian supplies.
- Even Turkey receives most of its gas from Russia.
Right now, the European Union has to import 57% of its natural gas. This will rise to 84% by 2030. Much will come from Russia. And most of this gas is still shipped through that Cold War-era pipeline that crosses Ukraine. The two countries have a history of pipeline-related hostilities!
Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom has choked off gas flows to Ukraine in the past: Russia doubled the gas price for Ukraine in 2006... raised it by 37% in 2007... and by 38% this year. When Ukraine couldn't pay, they simply cut off gas deliveries. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in June that his country may double the gas price again for 2009. In view of its budget situation and the continuing efforts to push through the Nabucco Project, Russia needs to strike again. The timing is crucial. It will have to happen when...
- Ukraine and Europe require gas most, in the dead of winter...
- The probability of U.S. interference is minimal, due to an inexperienced, "non-confrontational" new administration...
- The economic situation in Europe is critical thanks to the recent financial crisis!
- Russia will raise the price of its natural gas to the Ukraine, who will not be able to pay.
/END EuroPac Report
The Gazprom will cut off the flow of gas to that country and the Ukraine will not be able to resell the gas to Europe, causing a major economic issue.
If Ukraine moves to block the pipeline, Gazprom's troops will move to "protect" their business interests. Gas prices will go rise at the threat of armed conflict. And Russian stocks will collapse as investors pull out in a panic. (Remember what happened when Russia invaded Georgia?)
As investors sell off Gazprom stock, the Russian government will then step in to nobly buy up the stocks in an effort to aid the company. When all is said and done, Russia will have nationalized Gazprom, and be in control of the entire natural gas line in the country.
Sound implausible? Remember 1991?
The revolution is at hand. Will you be a leader or a follower?