Friday, January 9, 2009

First notice

So, actually, we first got the news from Sue, “You're in the news today!” I turned to our English language source for local news, The Slovak Spectator, to get the details. Apparently, Russia issued the equivalent of a shut-off notice to Ukraine over some missed payments and future pricing negotiations. Unfortunately for the European Union, Russia's natural gas distribution system (which provides about 20% of EU gas) is apparently series, not parallel, so Slovakia, Bulgaria, etc. have all been cut off as well.

So far, Slovakia is getting by on reserves, with limits imposed on industrial consumers but not schools, hospitals or households. How long this situation is tenable is unclear at the moment.

I'm not terribly well-versed in eastern European politics, but a member of our congregation has blogged a nice, lucid assessment of the situation.

UPDATE: Of course, as I published, I said to Annie, “Watch. I bet CNN will have a story right now that this has already been resolved.” That is a bet I won quite gladly, of course.

“‘Conditions for sending the monitors are now and place and gas should start to flow immediately without further delay,’ [EU spokesperson] Ferran Darradellas told CNN.” The flow of gas has not resumed yet, but this development seems promising.

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