Laughing matters
Archived Articles 22 May 2009  EWR
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A gas about gas in Russia and Ukraine
Edward Lucas

Youtube may not be the most scholarly repository of material about energy security and Russian foreign policy, but it is certainly the most entertaining. This (
), for example, shows a Russian military choir saying that if Ukraine joins NATO "we'll cut off the gas". (And not just Ukraine: it also threatens to use the same means to punish Europe for its alliance with America.) The audience—shown during the broadcast on REN-TV, Russia's fourth channel—loved it. Others don't. Your columnist showed it to a senior Ukrainian politician. He flinched. "I hate them", was his unvarnished response.

Comedy and politics are a combustible mix. Rein Lang, Estonia's justice minister, was quite unfairly tarred as a Nazi in the Russian media when he hired an actor to perform a one-man satirical play about Hitler at his birthday party.

(Europe.view column, May 21.)
The entire column is available here:
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