So at CEU (www.ceu.hu), we have a number of students from all over the world – 75 in fact.  Whenever you come through the halls, consistently there is a conversation about the state of world.  Usually, it’s in Russian.  Many of the students come from the former Soviet Union.

And like many from the region, there is always talk about Russia and its hold on its former Republics.  Recently, some Georgian colleagues and Russian students got into an intense argument on gas politics in the region.  Then 3 Ukrainians came by, along with some Moldovas, two Kazakhs, a Belarussian, and myself.  We all agreed that Russia was being a bully, but we all disagreed as to whether it was ‘fair’ or not.

Today was one of those days where a debate came up again.  Georgia has agreed to accept a doubling of their gas prices for the winter period.  (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6203721.stm)

And as I used to live and work there, anything about Georgia just really hits home.  And I’m along the lines of the folks that say that it’s not fair that Russia can bully countries into acquiescence.  But I think my thoughts are irrelevant on that point.  Perhaps what is most troubling is that the U.S. and the EU are just letting this price gouging happen.  That’s much more alarming.

Whatever your thoughts on Russia, there’s one thing that the students also agreed on.  Russia is back and ready to increase their influence again.

More on Georgia: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/1102477.stm

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