Traveling in the wake of Barak Obama's $10-million-dollar unapplauded Brussels speech calling on Europeans to punish Russia by imposing sanctions that would punish themselves, Canada's Steven Harper urged a Munich business audience to make Russia’s natural-gas exports a target for anti-Russian sanctions.
Harper's hope is that Europe will substitute Canadian liquified natural gas for Russian gas. But liquified gas will never compete on price with gas piped overland from well to consumer, and Europeans are not much into punishing themselves, so forget Canadian natural gas sales in Europe.
Then there's Canada tar sands oil, but since Harper's government has been too incompetent to allow the construction of a single new pipeline necessary to move tar sands oil to the West coast, the East coast, or South to the USA, the scope for exports to Europe is minimal. Instead, much tar sands oil is shipped expensively and dangerously by rail and sold in a restricted US market at well below the world price.
Then Harper sought to justify his new cold war rhetoric by expressing his concern for the Russian people. Yeah right, punish Russia to help the people. Especially, Harper's concern, he said, is for the younger people, who "want the same standards of governance and information flow that the rest of us have."
Quite how boycotting Russian oil and gas will improve life for Russia's young people Harper didn't say, probably because, as perhaps the World's most autistic national leader, he hasn't a clue. Still he's probably following the line of US UN envoy Samantha Power who seems to think that young people in Russia would like to see more of Pussy Riot copulating in church.
But the logic behind Harper's campaign to help Russia's young people, is that by screwing Russia hard enough, young people will join the Western-funded revolutionaries that are to topple Putin's regime to be replaced by a replica of Ukraine's Arse Yatsenyuk regime, which fronts for the IMF and global capital.
Whether Harper's intervention against the government of Russia will improve the lives of young Russians is much to be doubted. But for a prime minister headed for defeat at the 2015 election, Harper's likely more interested in impressing those who could provide him with a comfy after-office income stream from multiple corporate directorships — unless that is, he's planning to follow the example of his ex-chief of staff, Nigel Wright, and devote his retirement from public life to helping out at a soup kitchen.