The fifth Kremlin’s column in the UK. Do the Baltic States stand a chance?

July 16, 2007 at 10:21 pm 1 comment

Gazprom HQ in Moscow So called new realists claim that there is no any danger of the Russia’s capital taking part in the acquisitions of some Western world assets.  Putin proclaimed something like that ‘you were teaching us of capitalism, and now you don’t want to play by the capitalist rules.  Here we are, lets play together.’ 

Well, many of those ‘teachers’ from the western banks and organisations would say that the Russians were not very senior students, and instead of adopting the liberal market values they had created the ‘Russian style’ economy, which later transformed into the ‘state capitalism’ with some elements of NEP.  The main Russia’s investors into the Western markets are the Kremlin controlled ‘strategic’ sectors of the economy.  This is not the same as the private capital.  And we all know that corruption is thriving in the Russian state.  The Kremlin businessman is on the mission, they are not in the mood to change through ‘positive engagement’, those agents are to change the system in the West to suite they needs. 

Those new Russians are entering the Western markets, bringing their dirty practices with them.  I would strongly recommend having a look at Edward Lucas article on the forming fifth Kremlins’ column in the UK.  Hence, if the strongest democracy with its already formed political and economical establishment has a difficulty withstanding the lures of the ‘golden roubles’ what chance do the Baltic States have to keep the Kremlin out. 

Even though the strategic sectors in Lithuania are protected from investors other than of the Euroatlantic origins Kremlin is finding the ways to surpass this obstacle.  Part of the Lithuanian Gas (Lietuvos Dujos) shares were sold to the „E.ON Ruhrgas E&P GmbH“ in hope that this would reduce influence of the other co-owner Gazprom influence. Alas, the Germans playing with the same flute as the Russians.

The largest oil refinery in the Baltic States Mažeikių Nafta was sold to the American Williams International only later to be re-sold to the Russian Yukos by the same Americans.  Even though this was one of the most profitable times during the refineries years until Yukos was smashed.  Lithuanian government managed to sell the remaining shares to the other ‘strategic partner’ Poland run PKN Orlen.  The Poles managed to buy the remaining shares and became the sole owner of the refinery to find out that the Druzhba pipeline needs repairs.  The Kremlin is claiming that the pipeline might be never resumed again.  Further more the Polish press announced that the Russians are massively buying the PKN Orlen shares and the Polish government is already panicking.   The German Foreign Minister during his visit to the Baltic States expressed his interest participating in the Rail Baltica construction. 

Can anyone guaranty that the Kremlin is not going to gain the majority stake in Germany’s rail network in the futures?  The Baltic States and Poland are planning to construct a nuclear plant and invite the strategic partner from the Euroatlantic countries.  Well, if Russia is not let in through the door it lets itself in through the window.       


Entry filed under: Baltic States, Energy, Great Britain, Lithuania, Politics, Russia.

The Great battle of Žalgiris (Grunwald) Kremlin’s influence in the world returned to its former glory, thanks to the West

1 Comment Add your own

  • […] – Threatening to curb trade or investment, as some have recently done, is a fundamental error. When political relationships are as bad as they are, the rising tide of business between the EU and Russia is a vital form of engagement which is doing more than anything else to integrate Russia more closely with the EU and the global system. The leaders (one hopes) of the future, are applying their talents to business. Private enterprise is the most progressive force in the country. It brings East and West together in deals and joint endeavours. It will probably be the most powerful locomotive for change and modernization over the next generation.  (Visit article) […]


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