Russian Dispute With Ukraine Worsens, Hitting Europe
an. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Russia’s natural gas dispute with Ukraine worsened, shutting off fuel shipments to Europe for the first time in three years and driving energy prices higher.Balkan Travellers - Snow Descends in Macedonia, Bulgaria and Albania, to the Relief of Ski Resorts
The dispute, the second in three years, shows how Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are willing to use natural resources as a weapon to achieve political goals. European nations are burning more gas, the source of 24 percent of the world’s energy consumption last year, to reduce emissions linked to global warming.
Temperatures plunged in Europe overnight, boosting demand for gas to heat homes and businesses. Ukrainian temperatures sank as low as minus 16 degrees Celsius (3 Fahrenheit) today, according to forecaster CustomWeather Inc. That compares with a seasonal norm of minus 5 degrees.
Snow has also made things interesting in northern Greece, where officials have called on drivers to use chains amidst freezing temperatures as low as minus 13 Celsius and snowfall of up to 25cm across Epiros and the province of Macedonia.
Aerial footage from northern Albania shown earlier this week showed the mountainous region completely snowed under. Already hard enough to navigate in the best of times, this sparsely populated area has become inaccessible in large parts due to snowfall of up to half a meter.
...However, the strange weather patterns of the past few years, perhaps caused by global warming, mean that nothing can be taken for granted and skiers should enjoy the conditions while they have them.