Kommentar

Den russiske boikotten av Latvias oljehavn Ventspils er en hendelse som ikke får plass i norske medier. Svensk TV følger opp. Under golfkrigen i januar 1991 benyttet kommunistene i Moskva anledningen til å sette inn spesialstyrkene OMON mot befolkningene i Litauen og Latvia i et forsøk på å knuse uavhengighetsbevegelsen. Nå forsøker Russland å ta over den viktige oljehavnen i Ventspils i Latvia gjennom utpressing, melder RFE/RL.

Boikotten innebærer at havnen mister mesteparten av transitten, russisk olje, samtidig har Estland har fått et kjempeproblem: russiske tanklaster med olje opptar skinnegangene.

«(…) but so far, Western nations seem to be treating the dispute as a bitter takeover battle rather than a political problem.»

Enda en gang ser det ut til at Moskva vil bruke makt mot små naboland, i skyggen av en Irak-konflikt. Det nye siden -91 er at myndighetene bruker de store statlige eller halvstatlige selskapene som brekkstang; de har en enorm penge- og monopolmakt.

RFE/RE melder fra Moskva:

«– After months of pressure, Russia has declared that it is pursuing a takeover strategy for Latvia’s oil port of Ventspils, openly telling officials that their only choice now is to give in.

Last week, the vice president of the Russian state pipeline monopoly Transneft issued a public challenge to Latvia, which has been virtually cut off from Russian oil traffic since last April.

The Interfax news agency quoted Transneft’s Sergei Grigorev as saying: «Oil can flow only from Russia. You can of course sell [the port] to Westerners. But what are they going to do with it? Turn it into a beach?»

The comment is the starkest statement yet of Russia’s plan to choke off the Ventspils Nafta export facility until it gives in. Last month, Deputy Prime Viktor Khristenko said no Russian oil would be shipped through the port before April. Any resumption would not even be discussed before next month, he said. The port once served as a 2_kommentar outlet for some 340,000 barrels of Russian crude per day.»

«…The conflict over the port has already given rise to raging debates within Russia. Top executives of Russia’s independent oil companies have written to the government, protesting Transneft’s isolation of Ventspils at a time when all of Russia’s other oil outlets are straining at capacity.»