Yes, Palin Saw This One From Alaska: Ukraine Unpaid Gas Debt to Russia $2-3B ANNUALLY – Total Debt 80% of GDP

The line that took comedian Tina Fey’s career a couple of levels higher, as she donned her glasses and bangs and became Sarah Palin: “I can see Russia from my house,” was Tina Fey’s line, not Palin’s. Palin didn’t say it — ever. But Palin did say, way back in 2008, that an Obama presidency would lead to a Russian invasion of Ukraine. “Yes,” Palin said a few days ago, “I could see this one from Alaska.”

Tina Fey, Sarah Palin

Tina Fey, Sarah Palin

After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next. ~ Sarah Palin

Tina Fey, that lucky girl who could pull-off close to a perfect Palin-look, excepting shoulders, breasts and brains, got lucky (Amy Poehler was stuck with Hillary Clinton) — until Russians, reportedly wearing uniforms with no identification, crossed into Ukraine’s Crimea (which is pro-Russia in large part, 60 percent ethnically Russian) and took over the Parliament and airports. In Crimea, 80% of the presidential election votes were cast for now missing-president Viktor Yanukovych.

Where it stops, no one is sure, but Crimea is gone from bankrupted Ukraine. Once rich in now-exhausted natural-gas supplies, 25 percent of the EU’s natural gas travels from Russia through Ukrainian pipelines. Russia provides half of all of the Ukraine’s natural gas needs and hasn’t been shy about cutting off supply when needed to bring the country to heel. Ukraine has owed back gas debts to Russia for close to two decades.

But changes in the global trade in natural gas have blunted Moscow’s weapon, forcing the Russian pipeline monopoly Gazprom to cut prices worldwide and giving Ukraine slightly more bargaining power.

The boom in U.S. shale gas has left gas-exporting countries shopping for other customers. Source: Washington Post

The EU, The European Commission, the IMF, and apparently the U.S., are struggling to come up with a way to bailout Ukranian debt, all of it, not just gas. Estimates are unreliable, from $145 billion to $15 billion with the country asking for $45 billion and the EU thinking $35 billion is about right. This site puts Ukranian debt at 80 percent of GDP. The ANNUAL gas debt to Russia alone, is estimated at $2.4 billion, going back years and some estimate closer to $3+ billion per year.

Complicating the problem is the fact that Ukrainians simply don’t pay their gas bill. The country tried lowering prices, and households still didn’t paid.

“…energy subsidies reached 7.5 percent of Ukraine’s GDP in 2012. “The very low tariffs for residential gas and district heating cover only a fraction of economic costs and encourage one of the highest energy consumption levels in Europe,” the IMF said in December. Source: Washington Post

Just my opinion here, but I suggest the Ukranian uprising was poorly timed and the people let the government follow a budget model similar to that of the United States.

Related and Background:

Muslim Tatars Say Our Loyalty is With Ukrainians, Not Russians: Gunmen Caryy Sign “Crimea is Russia”

A confrontation looms as NATO and the EU take on Russia

Russian Troops on Crimean Peninsula, Russian Spy Ship Docked at Havana: Plans to Cleanse Ukraine of Protesters

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  • nbamron

    Russia does not see Ukraine as a “foreign country” it sees it as its birthplace and the Ukrainians as brothers or at least cousins. One Minister of Education under one of the last Tsars said that there was no Ukrainian language, “only poor Russian.” The Ukrainians understandably chafe, but they have gotten a free ride to a degree from Russia. I don’t think Russia will stop with Crimea, but I could be wrong. Seems to me they would be holding an extremely vulnerable territory if they have no land corridor to it.