I had been searching for something a little scurrilous to post on today (note to self: evidently feeling better.) This mornings trawl through my feed reader brought nothing. A mid-afternoon decision to see what the Moscow Times was adding to the sum of human understanding unearthed the VVP/Schroder/Warnig pipeline love triangle. I would have been delighted to attribute it to the MT, however anything more than 24 hours old requires subscription so the Washington Post got the honour instead.
It's all so fantastically incestuous. Firstly Gerhard "brown paper bag" Schroeder gets inconveniently voted out of office. Instead of going on the speaking circuit (topic - how not to reform the German economy in 2 electoral cycles) he takes the brown bag offered by VVP who has a western lemming to point to when all does not go well. For those of you with a logical disposition (i.e. you aren't reading this post from the same country which it is being posted) it might seem logical that a prominent German should head a company which has significant German investment and the Russian state/GAZP as the majority shareholder. Unfortunately, Schroeder was invited to take the post by GAZP, or so he claims, to avoid the unpleasant assumption that he jumped from a badly-paid German government job to a (reasonably) well-paid German private one. It's just so much better if its a Russian one.
Add VVP's favorite investment banker as managing director and the menage-a-trois (its just not as sexy in German, or English for that matter) is complete.
I would like to point out that I have no issue with the pipeline, Germany's investment in it or GAZP's role. The economic/political rationale is sound. I just dislike the incestuous kleptocracy that inhabits the top of every country and when they don't even have the brains to hide it I worry for our countries.