European gas drama active with moves in Ukraine, Azerbaijan

The eternal drama about natural gas for Europe from suppliers to the east played on multiple stages the week of Dec. 16. As logistically critical Ukraine cozied up to Russia, to the dismay of Europeans and many Ukrainians, an important project advanced off Azerbaijan that contradicts obvious Russian expansionism. Protests erupted in Kiev and elsewhere in Ukraine when President Viktor Yanukovych refused in late November to sign a cooperation deal with the European Union. The outcry didn’t dissuade Yanukovych. On Dec. 17 he accepted a promise from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for loans worth $15 billion and lower gas prices. In past disputes over gas prices, Russia cut deliveries t...

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