Saturday, July 12, 2008

Russia stops 50% of oil for Czechia

On Monday, many critics of the missile defense system argued that one of the reasons why the missile defense system was useless is that Iran simply doesn't have missiles that could deliver warheads far enough. On Tuesday, Iran successfully tested Shahab-3 (Meteor-3) missiles whose range is 2,100 km.

Also, many critics repeatedly say that the missile system doesn't work because it won't stop the missiles and no attacker would have to take it into account. Well, Russia apparently begs to differ. Our Russian friends argue that the system poses a threat to Russia's own nuclear deterrence.

In order to show how seriously they believe in this point, on Tuesday, they also reduced the delivery of Russian oil via the Družba (Friendship) pipeline to Czechia by a factor of two, from 120,000 barrels a day to 70,000 barrels, if I compute well.
New York Times
At least many people, including your humble correspondent, think that the radar, and not a technical glitch, is behind the reduction. (Update: it's been claimed that they deliver the missing oil to Turkey because of financial reasons.)

Well, I am not sure whether our Russian friends fully understand the current geographic situation. Czechoslovakia has been aware of similar complications from Russia since the collapse of communism in 1989 so in the 1990s, we have built another pipeline (MERO) from Ingolstadt, Germany, to Litvínov, Czechia. It carries Arab oil which is being exclusively used in Kralupy nad Vltavou. This alternative pipeline can pretty much replace all of Russian oil if Russia decides that it has to be the case. We also have 95 days worth of oil reserves. Meanwhile, Ivan and Natasha can use the Russian oil to cook some borscht.

Of course, if the Arabs follow the Russian suit, the Czech refineries and chemical companies are in trouble. But they won't be the only ones. ;-) Nevertheless, it is amusing that because of historical twists and turns, a missile defense radar meant to protect America against the Muslim threat increases the fraction of Arab crude oil used in Czechia.

It is not only amusing but it is also a testimony of Russian paranoia. Well, of course that Russia is correct that the missile defense system would reduce the importance of Russian nuclear deterrence and threats. When you remove the adjective "Russian", that's indeed the reason why the missile defense system was designed in the first place.

But I simply think that Russia should finally accept that America has won the Cold War more than 20 years ago and it has been supposed to be safe against the Russian nuclear threat ever since. More dramatically, Russia should finally forget about its subconscious plans to attack someone - especially America - by its nuclear weapons. Russia is free to build its own missile defense system and it should agree that there is nothing wrong about such a defense system.

And Russia should also finally take notice that with the exception of the 1948-1989 period, their old friendly brother Czechia has belonged to the Western cultural space for more than 1,000 years which include the two most recent decades.

1 comment:

  1. If the Czech Republic wishes to remain an independent republic, it must do what its neighbor Switzerland has always done, and what Israel has done. It must create an army of all able bodied citizens.

    Russia will disintegrate within the next 60 years because of its inherent demographic and social problems. Until, the Czechs must protect themselves.

    Do not trust the French and the Germans to protect you. They really care for no-one but themselves, and will not lift a finger to help you.