Friday, December 29, 2006
Here's a link to the piece I wrote last week for antiwar.com. It's about the Russian government's pressure on Royal Dutch Shell to give up its majority interest in a gas drilling and pipeline operation on Sakhalin Island, of the coast of Siberia. I think it's evidence of increasing authoritarianism in the Putin administration. And with the death of the old president of Turkmenistan, Russia is likely to look to increase its influence in that country (which has natural gas Russia would like to monopolize). Given that most of the rulers of the Central Asian "stans" are old codgers, several of whom were simply the old communist governors when the Soviet Union considered them part of its empire, the whole region could see some turmoil when they start to die off.