Power To The People

Viktor Yushchenko got a nasty New Year's Eve surprise. On Dec. 31, Ukraine's new President-elect learned that Turkmenistan was abruptly cutting its natural gas supplies unless Ukraine agreed to pay more in the coming year. It only reopened the taps on January 3, after Yuri Boiko, head of Naftogaz, Ukraine's state oil and gas company, agreed to a $500 million price hike.

Ukraine gets more than 75% of its natural gas from Turkmenistan and Russia, and many Ukrainians saw the hand of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who opposed Yushchenko's election, in the sudden price increase. "The...

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