by Cheryl Rofer
Russia and Ukraine are behaving like those bad neighbors that you hear screaming at each other every other night or so and who, in casual conversation, will try to drag you into that fight. Children really should have their allowances docked when they don't mow the lawn, shouldn't they? Just as a matter of conversation, really.
But the set-to in eastern Europe is now beginning to affect the neighbors more substantively. Some of the thrown crockery is coming their way as Russia shuts the gas off.
But the problem is more complex than that. Much of the Soviet gas distribution apparatus was built in Ukraine. So if Russia wants to sell its gas to Europe, it has now to deal with that chokepoint. Ukraine has recognized the value of having this control and uses it. The Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs further complicate the matter, as does the desire of some to bring Ukraine into NATO.