The Russian-Ukrainian gas quarrel has become a farce.
Although the European Union bureaucracy is traditionally slow in responding to these sorts of problems, it cannot afford to drag its feet on the gas issue.
Putin radiates confidence that Russia is set to win this round of gas confrontation, but despite his self-proclaimed pragmatism he has neglected the importance of trust, respect and partnership. No price can be put on these values as you can with a thousand cubic meters of gas. It is up to the EU quiet bureaucrats, overworked commissioners and rotating presidents to make sure that Putin cannot get away with setting his own rules.
Moscow Times opinion page