Johannis KNOWS how important is the image of Romania?

Whether accepted or not, Romanian reality has changed dramatically with the announcement of presidential election results from November 16 2014. Johannis unexpectedly gets elected president of Romania.

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We cross probably one of the most atypical periods of short but cheerful Romanian post-communist democracy a period of electoral turmoil but also a time when due to the success of a president totally different country is under scrutiny various external audiences.

Probably very little today realize the context in which we find ourselves, well we could use it to realize that we as a country and nation to open new opportunities for reconfiguration of identity. With time, why not, this identity can turn into competitive identity, which would not be bad at all.

The purpose of our discussion, however, is not to find in the person of Klaus Johannis Romania hero who need to repair their image abroad and probably others are even more talented in carving statues of the new president-elect, but we have observe that a situation seemingly happy until now we bring forward international perception on a meteoric trajectory normally unrepeatable or that you meet very few times in a century. As shown, the transfer from a peripheral area pereptie in one relatively central cenrala or can only be a result of truly historic event. This compels me to say that you have to take advantage of the opportunity and have to make an effort to profile us as well in the eyes of our foreign partners.

What probably will be doing in the near future is to confirm the precise technical methods recredibilizare the state and country in general, to avoid all the pitfalls of conduct that consistently discredit us and take advantage of the attention that the moment we it provides a platform to build credibility acceptable if not solid a balanced and strong country brand.

Those of political actors that will climb on this train and contribute to this new construction that is not the less doctrinal and policy, meaning rudimentary so far, will have their turn in front of an audience the chance to rehabilitate handled or no, but an audience that is slowly but surely the majority and determined against the system.

From this perspective Johannis begins to establish itself as a trigger of a process that traditionally Romania has the talent to guzzle it. Therefore I think that step unnecessary retalierii and accountability of political opponents of the new president-elect is unnecessary, time consuming and redundant. Therefore, I believe that this step must overcome.

If we remain stuck in a political war direction matrix line should unite Victoria and Cotroceni palace or if we mimic institutional collaboration will happen behind which all sorts of strange things, if we continue to search for some nonexistent guilty by clouds tear gas when we do nothing but bore the umpteenth time an external public Romania which rarely attracts attention.

Also Johannis must realize their role and gave it a favorable conjuncture without his effort is too high and make their lucid inventory of décor elements that surrounded the campaign. Some of these decorative elements” were almost invisible in the campaign (although some of them exactly what they wanted) for full attention focused on the candidate, but today, with the war policy (or alleged closing) is profile of these individuals expected to be stronger a profile but that public opinion, young beautiful, rebellious macovistii other categories might assimilate him something harder.

Political parties, conglomerates and other forms of organization with the stated purpose to gain power will have to understand, at least for a period, the significance of anti-system vote and make a step back and Johannis, to continue to perform as reliably vector will have to protect against capusarii most likely it will put a good picture transfer from him to these groups and never vice versa.

After a long series of occasions on which Romania has missed the existence of the unitary state, today we are even in possession of the list of things you do not need to repeat them, and one of them is even attention that the President have to pay image Romania country and credibility abroad. If Johannis will understand that public diplomacy tools are the only ones who can solve most problems seemingly intractable in our external perception management plan, he will still manage a performance unmatched by his predecessors or politicians who have had or still have aspirations comparable his.

 

by diplomatiepublica.com

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False political election year calendar 2014

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From now until the day after the second round of the presidential election will find on this blog :
– More articles about polls and discussions applied
– Less articles of analysis and theoretical discussions (eg That would be the last ) .

There is not much time until the elections – Euro or presidential . Already reduces theoretical importance, the strategic plan in the foreground disappears temporarily for tactical plan . With each passing day the options available to key actors narrows a little longer . Election pressure eliminates cravings building serious long-term solutions for timely, effective short term . Which is not necessarily bad , but it’s a state of affairs that must be taken into account.

Here are false political calendar that I promised in the title …

May 25 evening. All political parties are self- praises for the very good results obtained in heavy and difficult , low attendance and low interest .

May 26. All political parties are criticized in the media of all kinds for the results of the Euro . Cumulative reading all the articles , would conclude that virtually all have failed electoral targets .
Some people find that amount PNL + PDL + PMP + FC + NR + + UDMR PNŢCD score is higher than USD and open the champagne reserved for the day of death Iliescu.
Other people discover that ardent Facebook fans a camp or another put a comma between subject and predicate . This comma becomes , in fact , the symbol discussions about politics . Fashion spreads .

June . Negotiations for the unification of the line applications . Negotiations are so fast that everyone rubs his eyes , wondering if somehow dreaming or not they actually continued in secret and ‘ we do not know ‘ .
Disappears into nothingness a candidate of the right and released two .
Someone decides not to run , so that it will be in the form of rumor immediately admitted as public confidence in an interview only through 2015.
The release candidate is proposing miracle , quasi – sacred and anti -election ( Liiceanu, Rebenciuc Patriarch , Banica Junior , Nadia Comaneci , Caramitru Gica Hagi Locksmith – ” Right attack and marks ” ) . People playful mischievous but I propose Emil Constantinescu ” be entitled to a warrant, won the elections in ’96 so it has experience, is by- escu …”

July . Holidays , there’s so much to elections.
The hatch plans laboratories.

August . Holidays , there’s so much to elections.
Plans laboratories are thrown away , the air conditioning was broken and they all hatched .

September. Launch multiple applications ( possible examples : ” Christian ” pro- kaghe … um , pro- Russian , gentle nutty , nutty nuts ; politician – that – still – lives – wow – thought – that – died a well-intentioned but Uncle who does not know anything ; Romanian diaspora , business man you never heard of again , Vadim ; # uniţisalvăm ; candidacy – Sensational – What – Makes – Fas – But – What – About – a – Day – Tell All – World , etc).
In addition to applications in the previous paragraph : a serious candidate withdraws , there seems to be another new candidate . A third campaign is entering a perfect storm , shortage of human resources, material resources and imagination , but – hard – the story continues .
He threw two bombs Press the kind of quasi – revelations that creates great excitement when issued but are historically significant.
It fueled rumors of illness, serious flaws and dark events in the life of the top two candidates in the polls.
On Facebook there are several sentences that have a comma between subject and predicate sentences than things do not stay that way.

October. Posters appear everywhere, on which occasion it is discovered that the campaign started .
Ponta ‘s messages are : Stability – Family – # josBăsescu – traditions – patriotism – empathy. PSD Logo is nowhere . Spending serious newspapers out colossal amounts of ink trying to explain non – Romanian readers candidate that’s left.
Other campaigns talk about the fight against corruption and the personal qualities of the candidates. There is a pleasant surprise , clean and positive . Disappearing few castles of cards .
In concrete plan , all candidates main parties say many things without huge rallies effect .
Traian Basescu wants to move some percent to an interview at B1, but it comes out half .
On Facebook all sentences have a comma between subject and predicate . On the other hand there are not so many sentences , everything is flooded in Photoshop image – ate hideous , coarse , with much hatred and nehazoase .

November 2. Tour one surprise everyone in that place so early ( ” well, it was in December ? ” ) .
The result is unsurprising , between second and third are more than 5 percent which was indicated by almost all pre-election polls .
Surprise least vote in anger, mocking , rejection of the political class ( … since you ‘re reading this now , I would have to surprise you … ) .
Facebook put a comma after each word .

November 3 to 9 . Remaining two candidates . The chances are not equal and that everyone knows the second one.
Calculations non -stop, made ​​amateurish subjective under the sway of the moment. Which is a shame.
Nation dosed 4 surveys per day. All are treated as false . Everyone has them , in fact, very seriously.
About ten million Romanian citizens argue creepy with a relative, friend or colleague because elections.
Manipulation appears absurd , laughable , habarnistă . Runs only the core of one of the two electorates that candidates in the runoff .
Maximum torque of conspiratorial excitement ( ” I say I have SRI reptilians understand CIA and Freemasons against Bilderberg ‘s , Ponta lose , you’ll see ! ” ” Nonsense , SIE and MI6 had struck a deal with Venusians Illuminati the GRU , you know nothing , Ponta wins ” ) .
Colossal wave of messages, SMS, and viral videos on ” You saved the country from the domination PSD ! ”
The 2004 elections are invoked every political discussion , every talk show , every two or three newspaper articles.
It is rumored that Putin gave Ponta Moldova, Transylvania , Romanian State , Dobrogea and Banat or any four of these historical provinces . It is rumored that Dragnea ‘s FSB colonel . It is rumored that Ponta will take Romania out of NATO , EU and UN . It is rumored that Ponta stole 531 trillion from the state budget .
About rival is rumored similar or more serious things . Beat the drum than a so-called rescue deal Traian Basescu in prison. Ponta actually struggling with Basescu. Incumbent will have the choice to go public with a statement / interview or not. Option actually there :) That moment will be seen later as crucial , who tipped the scales decisively .
All propositions about politics on Facebook contain not only a comma between the words but three exclamation marks .

November 10 to 15 . The first videos of the miners of 1990 ( ” Who votes Ponta miners vote ” ) . Latest Videos of Ponta about Basescu.
Two bombs explode gigantic release, which are kept in the drawer since the summer . Cancel each other.
The final debate is between Traian Basescu and Victor Ponta , opposition candidate in the runoff with the task of filling ceşcuţele coffee and wash ashtrays . The moderator is CTP . All the polls show that after the final debate , according to viewers , CTP won the debate.
Facebook no longer write sentences , but only exclamation marks .

Sample question :

PontaEsteCelMaiBunnn ! ! !
LuptămContraComuniştilorJosPOntaIaMânaJavrăDePeNeamulRomînesc : ! ! ! ! !
PontaEsteCelMaiBunnn ! ! ! ! !
LuptămContraComuniştilorJosPOntaIaMânaJavrăDePeNeamulRomînesc : !

November 16 morning . The hundreds of sites Facebook wall is found traditional greeting on election day ( ” But would God be earthquake, flood and hail in areas where voters live human that do not vote ” ) .
Large presence in the south and Moldavia morning . Dragnea 17 is referred to thousands of times per minute.
Hours for non – sociologists annoying when there is no exit polls and everyone talks about rain and snow Arad Bukovina , and brains just trying to meteopsihologia vote in adverse climatic conditions .

November 16 afternoon . In all breweries discussing exit polls . Romania was born statistician !
All your acquaintances tell you about one of them knew that I was going to go to vote , and yet he went.
Dragnea is mentioned 170 thousand times per minute.
Sebastian Lăzăroiu take Mirel Palada likes mountains and swearing carts with one status each.
A campaign is on Facebook , Twitter and SMS messages like ” All is not lost , not yield , we can win !” . And so it is

November 16 evening 19 o’clock . Campaigns from both sources is through SMS, whispers and beeps somewhat schizophrenic following set of information:
– ” I gained 8 percent difference * minimum * , obviously ! ”
and
– ” Standing badly , but I recovered now deciding on the final hours , but it’s good . ”

November 16 evening 21 o’clock . Recognizes no candidate defeat. Both give a speech cautious but optimistic. No bouncing .

November 16 evening , at 21.01 . Millions of people almost simultaneously utter the word ” diaspora” .

November 16 evening from 23.00 to 23.55 hours . The heads of the two campaigns out on television several times , separately. Tired , sleepless , hungry , it enumerates a list of common and seemingly endless endless list of numbers even meaningless . Country of fun (‘ so there really is a common bot is called Cow ! ‘) And asleep watching TV .

November 17 : Life goes on . In Romania, children are born , die old , it works , eat, make love and sleep . In newspapers and on TV starting to show Comments ( ratio between silly and smart remarks : 6 -to-1 ) . Sociologists begin detailed analysis of the results. No leader / president quits party and not withdraw from the political scene .

 

by Barbu Mateescu

Biden to Bucharest

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If you feel in the air the smell of freedom, dignity, optimism, determination, NORMALITY? … Make no mistake … it was Biden to Bucharest. In those times never talked about our favorite topics – I heard and saw something ELSE, and if it would be Biden spoke in front of what is spoken in Romania every day … we had a clear picture of prehistory on a practicing every day on these streets. Slide this air avidly chest will reappear tomorrow morons patented public wonder if maybe the Red American troops angry and Russians … we need new U.S. troops, NATO and Europe … Pull brothers air freedom nostrils will you meet this air over many years, provided you be if …. thank Joe Biden, thank you America!

 

also by Diplomatie Publica

THE ROVING EYE : The US-Russia Ukrainian deal

By Pepe Escobar

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By the time you read this Russia will have invaded Ukraine. Well, that’s what the Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, US Air Force General Philip Breedlove, is spinning. Breedlove Supreme says the Russians are “ready to go” and could easily take over eastern Ukraine. Western corporate media have already dusted off their Kevlar vests.

Now compare Breedlove Supreme with a grown-up diplomat, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who has called on NATO to please de-escalate the “unreasonable” warmongering rhetoric, which also includes officially ending all civilian and military cooperation with Russia and planning more military moves in Eastern Europe.

While NATO – shorthand for the Pentagon’s European division – freaks out, especially via its outgoing secretary-general, Danish patsy Anders Fogh Rasmussen, let’s see where we really stand on the ground, based on leaks from both Lavrov’s and US Secretary of State John Kerry’s camps.

The heart of the matter – obscured by a rainbow bridge of hysteria – is that neither Washington nor Moscow want Ukraine to become a festering wound. Moscow told Washington, officially, it has no intention of “invading” Ukraine. And Washington told Moscow that, for all the demented rhetoric, it does not want to expand NATO to either Ukraine or Georgia.

Whatever Washington’s actions, they won’t convince the Kremlin the putsch in Kiev was not orchestrated in large part by goons allied to Kaghanate of Nulands – aka US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nulands. At the same time, the Kremlin knows time is on its side – so it would be totally counterproductive to even contemplate “invading” eastern Ukraine.

Compound the vicious catfight among dodgy factions in Kiev, from fascists to Saint Yulia “Kill all the Russians” Timoschenko; Gazprom raising the price of natural gas by 80%; and the International Monetary Fund about to unleash some nasty structural adjustment that will make Greece look like Cinderella playing in a rose garden, and all that Moscow needs to do is sit back, relax and watch the (internal) carnage.

The same applies for the Baltics – which, as NATO hysteria would have it, might be invaded next week. As the Baltics are part of NATO, then we would really have the Brussels Robocops going ballistic. Yet only trademark arrogant/ignorant neo-cons believe Moscow will break complex political/trade relationships with Europe – especially Germany – risking a hot war over the Baltics. The Germans don’t want a hot or cold war either. Even in the extremely unlikely event that would happen, what would macho, macho NATO do, under Pentagon’s orders? Invade Russian territory?

That does not even qualify as a lousy joke.

By the way, as bad jokes ago, it’s hard to top Olli Rehn, vice president of the Kafkaesque European Commission, stressing that ” in the interests to maintain peace and stability on our continent” the European Union is part of the 11 billion euro (US$15 billion) IMF/disaster capitalism package to plunder, sorry, “help” Ukraine, and this while EU citizens are unemployed and/or thrown into poverty by the millions.

As for Berlin’s top priority, that is to at least try to steer the EU out of an almighty crash, which implies keeping the equally economically devastated Club Med and Central Europe on board while fighting off the rise and rise of nasty, “normalized” neofascism. “Massive undertaking” does not even begin to describe it. Why add a confrontation with Moscow to this indigestible bouillabaisse?

New axis in the house
Moral high ground epiphanies such as this Guardian editorial (“he gained a peninsula but lost a country”) are pointless. Same for minion Poland freaking out and asking for more “protection” from the Brussels mafia.

Predictably, Western corporate media is spinning Putin “blinked” when he phoned US President Barack Obama to try to set up a solution package – which includes, crucially, a federalization of Ukraine. The Obama administration – even staffed by astounding mediocrities – knows this is the only rational way ahead. And no amount of “pressure” will bend Moscow. Those go-go days of imposing whatever whim over serial drunkard Boris Yeltsin are long gone. At the same time, Moscow is a realist player – fully aware that the only possible solution for Ukraine has to be worked out with Washington.

So Ukraine is essentially a detail – and “Europe” is no more than a helpless bystander. Who are you gonna call in “Europe”? That Magritte-style nonentity European Council President Herman Van Rompuy? Anyone who’s been to Brussels knows that “Europe” remains a glorified collection of principalities bickering in a smatter of languages. Machiavelli would easily recognize it as such.

To top if off, the Obama administration has no clue what it wants in Ukraine. A “constitutional democracy”? Moscow might even agree with that, while knowing, based on rows and rows of historical/cultural reasons, it’s bound to be a failure. The red line though has been spelled out over and over again: no NATO bases in Ukraine.

Rational players in Washington – a certified minority – certainly have noticed that if you don’t play ball with Moscow, Russia will play very hard ball within the framework of the P5+1 (the UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany) negotiations on the Iranian nuclear dossier.

Only the blind won’t see that Moscow and Tehran are evolving towards a closer strategic partnership as much as Moscow and Beijing. There’s a real strategic geopolitical axis in the house – Moscow-Beijing-Tehran – and the whole developing world has already noticed that’s where the real action is. But as far as Ukraine is concerned, the stark fact is this is all about the US and Russia.

Romania: a hybrid between U.S.liberal internationalism and Russian deffensive realism

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The most influential foreign policy trends in international affairs are basically liberalism and realism. As theoretical concepts, they oppose one another without any doubts. In practice, the differences can sometimes be blurred because both of them consider the use of military practices as a means to a goal and none of them forget about the preeminence of the national interests, regardless of how it is defined.

In this article, I will not provide an abundance of details and facts about foreign policy of the US, Russia, or Romania. My aim is only to give a clean, clear, and generalized description of each. Hopefully, this will improve our understanding of current events, rather than confuse us with theoretical and conceptual nuances and academic debates.

To start off, I will talk a bit about the US and its liberal internationalist agenda. Stemming from its exceptionalism the US is acting in the world as a leader, a proponent and protector of values and socio-political standards. Whether we consider the progressives or the neoconservatives, both of them use idealistic rhetoric either as instigation against isolationism or as disguise for materialistic purposes. The democrats appeal to ”Western values” to gain support for a greater military involvement in the international arena out of genuine humanitarian concerns. The neocons pack a pragmatic, power-inspired political agenda under a ”national security” and ”good versus evil” painted cover.

The two sides differ under one consideration: their relation to multilateralism and international institutionalism. The first ones intend to receive international political and public approval for any kind of intervention. In the eyes of neocons, this translates into weakness and fear of blockage. The second ones disregard the need of a multilateral basis for US foreign policy. Such a behaviour brings them accusations of imperialism and evangelical militarism.

An interesting question would be: can the US consider a more realist approach to international politics? By this I mean an approach that puts aside ideals, values and other normative considerations. I tend to think that this cannot happen mainly because of one reason: the US was the winner of the Cold War. The conclusion of this almost 50 year old ideological confrontation brought to the US what it took away from present-day Russia: an immense soft power. The power of ideas, the power of international attraction, the power of legitimacy in the eyes of the public opinion. To my mind, any policy-maker in the US cannot but use soft power as an instrument in dealing with any type of interaction with the outside world.

As mentioned above, in Russia’s case defensive realism is the only option left to assert itself as a big power. Communism failed as an ideology, and the other strong ace in the hands of Russian politicians, conservatism, cannot handle the pressure of a fast spreading international liberalism.

The EU’s expansion in Eastern Europe, the latest US military engagements in the Middle East and Northern Africa alongside its pivoting towards Asia-Pacific, NATO’s growing strategic interest in the greater Black Sea region, China’s growth, they all provide a physical threat of encirclement to the Russian Federation.

There are three ways to protect yourself in the international system. One is to utilize all diplomatic and institutional means of engagement, the most important of which is international law. Due to the neocons’ disregard of such ”utopian” elements (Iraq war), and due to the easy manipulation of Security Council resolutions (no fly-zone turned into regime change in Libya), the Russian leaders cannot feel protected by international agreements and treaties, and see the Western request to do so as hypocrisy.

The second way is to make huge use of the public opinion through soft power. As already argued, Russia is not in the best position to present itself as a peaceful, conservative power because of a long imperial and soviet history that comes back to haunt. Finally, the only strategic ally of policy-makers in this case is pragmatic, defensive realpolitik. The use of economic, political and military leverage remains for now the only effective way of pursuing a national interest that is perceived to be endangered.

If the cases presented above are in clear antagonism, Romania’s foreign policy provides an interestig hybrid example of both of them.

As most of the small actors in the international system, Romania must use pragmatic tactics to survive under the pressure of big power competition. This view presents Romania as a realist player. If so, how then do we explain the importance of liberalism in the political and public domestic debate? How can we explain the idealistic aspirations expressed during the process of joining NATO and the EU? If we assume that Romania plays power politics, why don’t policy-makers understand the logic behind Russia’s actions?

To respond to these questions, I would argue that Romania is doing a simple geopolitical act, which is bandwagoning. Romania is not a military, economic or soft power. But the US and the EU are. By having them as allies, it gains two folds. First, it allows a small country to have a seat at the decision-making table through institutional cooperation. It gives a voice that neutrality and isolationism would just cancel. Second, it offers protection against historical enemies both through choosing sides, the US opposing Russia, and through creating ties, as in the case of its relation to Turkey inside NATO or Hungary inside the EU.

In my opinion, Romania is a very strategic, realist international actor that is very capable of understanding the strength of liberalism and international cooperation. If the US is the incarnation of soft power, Russia of hard power, then Romania is the perfect example of ”smart power”, the right combination of the former two, which appears to be the future path in international relations.

 

by geopolitics.ro

I can not and I will not agree with IONEL Blanculescu!

by diplomatiepublica

As you probably know , in a week and a half ago I returned from the U.S., and in return I promise that I will come back to take a picture whenever you feel the need to show why they are different than us.

Today , unfortunately, I find myself in this situation and the situation is caused by a known character statements that express frequently on TV , Mr. Blanculescu . He and I will limit myself to assimilate the statement in question only Mr. Blanculescu person and not the current official capacity of his reign, senses a certain effervescence wrong in society on hearing that Americans will develop military capabilities in Romania. Also unfortunately, Mr. Blanculescu does not stop here but clamoring category arguments neither more nor less than the site at Deveselu charge him, a mean to an escalation of the arms race – which is more plainly responsible for if not imminent potential annoyance of the Russians who plod on the borders of Ukraine and Moldova .

Okay , what about Mr Blanculescu understand the security policy and how it relates to the security policies of the investment , though I would like to talk , but I am surprised that a man with some skill in the management of public benefits such risk assessments in perhaps the worst time , in the wrong place and why not say , with the questionable expertise in this field . If , however, Mr. Blanculescu would have proposed to her boss image devastating affect him, it would be optimal landing and that was the best time .

In front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC , there is a commemorative assembly where the feet are blasted dozens of black marble behalf of tens of thousands of American soldiers dead and missing in Europe and Asia , in the fight for freedom. At the end of this long and excruciatingly painful string of names of martyrs is written large : FREEDOM IS NOT FREE !

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Can not be bad to remind them that Mr. Blanculescu back when we do not yet decided if we could use more aggressive or aggressor status of Americans with their western partners were trying to cope the most horrific challenge by passing humanity . Then, all Americans and all their partners who became later, much later , and partners , trying to cope with the expansion and magnetism while Soviet us pardon , building socialism with just those with struggling … Americans . Later on when we care autofagocitam arms race Americans remain consistent extension of democratic space , whether it happens in Asia or in other parts of the world. Well, these are the ” minutiae ” that have escaped Mr. Blanculescu and they have skidded in a highly sensitive area for the credibility of Romania and Bucharest administration against those whom today we consider strategic partners.

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That builds credibility oanoarea prestige and in such cases it proves partnership. Any further comment is unnecessary.

To Understand What’s Really Happening in Ukraine, Follow the Gas Lines on This Map

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Shocking no one, Russia’s top natural gas producer, Gazprom, announced last Tuesday that it will cancel a discount on the price it charges for gas in Ukraine.

The bargain, a sweet 30% off the price of gas, was a bid by Moscow to deter Ukraine from accepting a trade deal with the EU.

“This is not linked to politics or anything,” Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters on Tuesday, regarding the discount cancellation.

The ongoing Ukraine crisis is often cast as a battle of values, East versus West. But another way of looking at things is to follow the old gas lines.

In a nutshell:

Ukraine would freeze without Russia.

Some 60% of Ukraine’s consumed gas comes from Russia. Over the years this reliance has given rise to a so-called gas “mafia” in Kyiv. Ukrainian oligarchs, working closely with Russian suppliers, have taken advantage of the dependency. It is widely believe that these elites siphon money from state coffers and actively prevent Ukraine from developing a sustainable energy sector. All the while, foreign investors are scared away.

Similarly, Russian energy supplies help Moscow to keep a firm grip on other former Soviet states like Moldova and Georgia.  In September Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin threatened to cut off Moldova’s gas supply during the winter if the country continued on its pro-EU economic course. “We hope,” said Rogozin to Moldavians, “that you will not freeze.”

Europe is hooked too.

Russia supplies, but Ukraine is the middleman. This helps to explain why some European states (like Germany) have been cagey about imposing sanctions on Russia. Germany and Ukraine are Gazprom’s biggest foreign purchasers.

Russia is Europe’s largest natural gas supplier, supplying about one-third of the continent’s natural gas, more than half of which travels through Ukraine. Important pipelines pass through Ukraine to Slovakia, and then on to Germany, Italy and Austria.

So, what would happen if Russia switched off the Ukrainian pipes? Actually it has done just that twice over the last decade, in 2006 and again in 2009, amid pricing disputes between Kyiv and Moscow. The result: gas shortages in several European countries.

Already Europe is working to wean itself off Russian supplies. Ukraine’s woes might help to speed up that process.

It’s a two-way street.

Russia needs Europe too. Oil and gas trade accounts for half of Russia’s annual export revenue and more than half of Russia’s federal budget.

Important to note is that many of Russia’s important gas pipelines go through Western Ukraine, which is decidedly pro-Europe.

“I would argue that Russia has more to lose than Europe at the moment,” says Tim Boersma of the Brookings Institution. “Russia needs European demands. It is making roughly $100 million a day from hydrocarbons.

What about America?

Washington is making moves. The U.S. doesn’t export natural gas yet. But congressional Republicans especially are calling to loosen U.S. export restrictions, with the idea that if Washington puts more gas on the market, it can (economically) cut Russia down to size.

The U.S. Department of Energy is issuing permits to American corporations that will let them start exporting gas in 2015.

Fun fact: Who is now leading the U.S. State Department’s new Bureau of Energy Resources? It’s Carlos Pascual, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

So what about that new global order?

In recent weeks Eurasia experts and political hacks have been talking big about a new global energy order inspired by events in Ukraine.

Chaos in Ukraine, goes this logic, will threaten natural gas supplies and push Europe to look for non-Russian gas sources.

It’s already happening. U.S. energy behemoth Halliburton Co. will soon start fracking in Poland. Royal Dutch Shell will start hunting for natural gas in Ukraine next year.

In fact, Europe is already way less energy-dependent on Russia than it was in 2009, the last time Moscow switched off the Ukrainian pipelines. Germany, for instance, has found alternative energy sources in Norway and Algeria.

2009 was a turning point. And 2014 could be Russia’s biggest mistake yet.