What Did They Expect?

Russia has cut off natural gas deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria as Putin prosecutes his invasion of Ukraine.

European officials denounced the move, which threatens the continent’s energy supply, as blackmail by Russia.

This is war. What did these “European officials” expect when they made the conscious decision to create themselves dependents on the energy good offices of an enemy nation? And how could they not recognize Putin’s Russia as an enemy nation, given his years of rhetoric laying out his plans for and goal of restoring the Russian empire that was the Soviet Union—an empire that includes Eastern European nations, many of which are part of NATO, and one of which has been absorbed into a NATO member nation?

Other large European gas consumers like Germany and Italy haven’t been affected so far.

Of course not. Germany and Italy are much more compliant dependents. Germany in particular has been busily slow-walking, if not outright obstructing, weapons support for Ukraine. Never mind German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’ talk about freeing up arms shipments to Ukraine. All he’s done, despite two such rounds of word-based commitments, is talk. No concrete movement, beyond an insultingly puny shipment of helmets, has followed his chit-chat.

Latvia’s Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš is much more clear-eyed on the matter.

This is part of the war; this is how the war affects us. The Ukrainians are paying with their lives, we are paying with higher energy prices.

But, then, Latvia, along with the rest of Eastern Europe, well remember what it’s like to live under Russian jackboots. Central and Western Europe, safe and secure and rich and fat and soft three and four generations after WWII and with all those Eastern Europe nations as buffers for their comfort, have chosen to not remember.

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