Don’t be shy, make it one trillion

March 21, 2014. PM Medvedev says Russia may sue Ukraine for $11 billion, the amount Russia was going to lose by denouncing the 2010 Kharkov agreements. (A statement so absurd and brazen at once it was hard to believe. Having annexed Crimea, Russia denounced the Kharkov agreements, which guaranteed Ukraine a discount on natural gas for hosting the Russian navy. Then Russia demanded the accumulated discount back.)

April 9, 2014. Medvedev raises his estimate of Ukraine’s debt to Russia to $16.6 billion. The next day, Putin cites this number in his open letter to EU leaders.

April 15. Medvedev says Ukraine saved more than $100 billion thanks to discounts on Gazprom’s gas. (Discounts from what level? – what is the “fair price” for Ukraine? “Daddy, I saved three kopecks this morning because I didn’t take the streetcar – I ran behind it.” – Son, you should have run behind a cab and saved three roubles!)

April 22. Medvedev claims Russia’s discounts, subsidies and trade preferences to Ukraine amounted to $250 billion in the post-Soviet period.

I’m waiting for the man to start quoting Dante on the punishment for ingratitude. Is it going to be dismemberment for Ukraine? One gets the impression Putin is giving the most embarrassing bits to Medvedev, as penance for being Medvedev perhaps.

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