"Rowdy Russia May Finally Clean up Its Dirty Front Yard"

Growing pollution in the Baltic Sea has been making it unswimmable and contaminating fish.

"This week, things came to a head in Helsinki. Mr. Putin sealed a deal that will turn the Baltic into Russia's key weapon in the European energy wars, and makes the sea the most important location of Russia's economic and strategic future.

The Nord Stream Pipeline, arranged in a behind-the-scenes deal between Germany and Russia, will carry virtually all of Russia's natural-gas output, supplying 70 per cent of central European homes, from Siberia directly to the heart of Europe, beneath the Baltic Sea. In the process, it bypasses all the nations that have traditionally made their fortunes – and occasionally held Europe's heating supply hostage – by charging huge fees for the transit of gas through their territories."

Doug Saunders reports for the Toronto Globe and Mail February 12, 2010.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010