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Thoughts on the following parable (14/04/22 18:35:32)
    Across the street is an Aldi (Russia). I (Germany) always go to Aldi and buy my natural gas there. I always pay for my gas, and on the way between the register and my apartment someone (the Ukraine) always comes and steals my gas from my pocket.

    Because this is happening in the parking lot in front of the supermarket, I complain to the supermarket. The supermarket then always gives me as much natural gas as was just stolen from me.

    At some point it gets too stupid for the supermarket and it puts up a couple of thugs as a security threat. The thief keeps stealing. Aldi then builds a pipeline through the Baltic Sea in order to be able to deliver the natural gas past the thieves.

    It all takes forever, not least because I've been standing in the way of the construction of the pipeline for years, even though it's being built for me. It's not my fault, I'll rationalize this to myself. Pretty asshole behavior on my part, isn't it?

    Meanwhile, the thief happily keeps stealing natural gas and the supermarket has to give me more.

    The supermarket looks at it for a few years and then waves its security bats. They come and kick the front teeth out of the thief's mouth.

    The thief comes to me now (!!), howling about police brutality, and demanding that I give him a gun so he can defend himself against the security thugs.

    As a moral person, I'm of course on the side of Ukraine, because I don't think the reaction of the thugs is appropriate. It wasn't proportionate and I generally reject violence.

    So much for my parable. Not enough? Think about it the other way around for a moment. Think about it, that Russia buys from us, let's say VW cars. We deliver the VWs, but our transports are always attacked on the Autobahn in Ukraine and the cars are stolen. Russia complains because only half of the cars arrive. Would we then be so accommodating as to simply build more cars at our expense and send them back to Russia through the Ukraine?

    no If we weren't. We would first clarify this diplomatically. Agreement. Contracts. Did the Russians see and do exactly that. Ukraine just always broke the treaties.

    The situation was even a bit worse :

    Due to Russian subsidies, the gas price in Ukraine has so far been significantly lower than in Russia itself. In many areas, especially in the metal industry, the Ukraine has supplied the Russian market at dumping prices and thus cheated Russian producers.
    In our parable, the thief would also force us out of the market by undercutting our prices with the stolen goods.

    How long would you put up with that? a week? Two weeks? ten years? Seriously?

    I cannot condone Russia's invasion. But to quote an old Chris Rock joke :

    Now I ain't saying he shoulda killed her… but I understand
    Of course, the invasion doesn't just have to do with the gas theft. It's about imperialism, access to the Crimea, the Donbass and its natural resources, maybe it's also about geostrategic things. Who knows what the Russians were actually after. But to pretend that Ukraine is the innocence of the country, that simply does not correspond to the facts.

    Imagine for a moment that the Russians had simply negotiated the contracts in such a way that the theft was not their problem but ours. Would you still be as pro-Ukraine as everyone seems to be right now?

    I still have a detail from the Wikipedia article:

    Ukraine sold part of the gas it bought for $50 to Romania for $260.
    N / A? Is Ukraine still the blameless hero? Then how about this:

    The south-eastern European countries in particular suffered from the gas blockade for which Ukraine was responsible[48]. Most affected were Slovakia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Moldova. Their dependence on the gas flowing through Ukraine is very high, while their storage capabilities are relatively small. Numerous schools had to be closed in Bulgaria, and firewood and coal were in short supply due to the flood of demand. Bulgaria demanded compensation from Gazprom for the loss of 124 million cubic meters of natural gas.[49][50]
    ... from Gazprom. Not from Ukraine. From Gazprom.

    Update : I think this is the right opportunity to commemorate Horst Köhler .

    Update : The parable triggered quite a few comments, as you can imagine. I found one of them particularly interesting. He said: I don't mind being robbed, I'm even working together with the thief against Aldi, because I don't like big capitalists anyway and it doesn't cost me anything. It is indeed an interesting idea that the West has been delaying Nord Stream 2 all this time, so that Ukraine can continue to dig into the pockets of the Russians. Then Ukraine would even owe us one for it!

    Another says: Well, you buy cars at the local dealership, and if the goods are lost between VW and the dealership, that is indeed the problem of VW / the dealership, not the buyer. VW then has an insurance policy and adds the premium to the purchase price. That would indeed be an interesting question, whether Russia has added that to the purchase price.

    Another reader said that Ukraine made a lot of money regardless of the theft. According to him, the network of companies between Russia and German consumers served, among other things, to buy pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine or to make politicians pro-Russian, which worked well up to the Euromaidan. From this reader's point of view, the war is Putin's reaction to the fact that he was no longer able to control politics in Ukraine with gas corruption.

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Thoughts on the following parable