US Started Wars in Ukraine, Syria, for Gas, Not Democracy
Alastair Crooke, political analyst, the founder and director of the Conflicts Forum, and a former advisor to Javier Solana, then High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union:
…What we see in Ukraine is very clearly a struggle over the question of supplies of gas and oil to Central Europe. And here there are two crucial things. The first is an attempt to reduce Russian dependency, as it is described by Americans, on European market. Historically, there has been a long sense in America, there has been a desire to drive a wedge between Germany and Russia. This has been a neo-liberal objective for some time, a fear of a German-Russian axis coming into being which would deprive America of much of its political power in Europe. At the same time, the has also been a glut of gas supplies in America which last year because of the now diminishing but the then flourishing fracking boom on gas which drove the price down of domestic gas supplies in US to 2$ equivalent for per 1000 units. Many companies have been pressing to have these surplus gas supplies the US liquefied and sent to Europe to replace Russian gas. So this is when Ukraine comes in, because still many of the transit routes for gas cross Ukraine to Europe. The EU and the US, at the same time, are mounting a very strong campaign against South Stream – a separate gas pipe line which would go through the Black sea and enter into Southern Europe this way and terminate in Austria. So, there is, of course, a large element of energy war, and a bigger war is taking place over the question of supplies of oil in the Middle East and of the price of both oil and gas. Russia plays an important role in this, and of course equally America is determined to lessen Russia’s role and influence in geopolitical struggle, a game if you like.
— A 50-year long contract was signed by the then President Yanukovich, a month before he had to go. This contract was with companies Shell and Chevron on production of the shale gas in the South-East part of Ukraine. So the assertion is that this is one of the primary causes of the so-called anti-terrorist operation in that part of the country.
— I can’t tell you that it was a 50-year contract, but there was certainly a contract signed for the exploration of shale oil and gas reserves in Ukraine. However, these oil and gas reserves are very speculative, they haven’t yet been tested, so it was more for exploration wells and drilling than a contract for some known entity. There has been a great deal of hype about fracking, generally. In many cases it’s proved to be too costly, the cost of producing the oil and the outcome make the total cost above the world price for a barrel of oil. America is in a unique situation, because it has the drilling rigs, the pipe structure, and this has made it an economic prospect.