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Tis the Season...for Natural Gas Negotiations with Russia

Every Halloween, the trees are filled with underwear. Every spring, the toilets explode.
Dean Vernon Wormer

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

On Saturday the Russian natural gas firm Gazprom warned European leaders that Russia may cut off natural gas piped through Ukraine in response to a debt due on January 1.

The near annual threat of natural gas embargos by Russia must be driving European policy makers insane. These never occur in the summer months when natural gas demand is low. We wrote about this back in 2006!

Russia's financial issues are making each successive embargo threat less about the "free market" and more about resource politics.