Lord Howell, a leading member of the British Conservative Party, has called for cooperation with Russia, not confrontation, if Ukraine is to be saved. In a long interview in the Journal of Energy and Security, Lord Howell, former energy secretary in the government of Margaret Thatcher, is highly critical of the confrontationist policy against Russia, especially from the energy standpoint. He states that the “least dangerous approach to the Ukraine crisis” is a policy “rooted in realism, honesty and a firm view of longer term interests….
“The basic reality is that economically, Russia today is impossible to isolate. More Russian gas is bound to flow to Europe, even if the monopoly-supplier position of Gazprom is somewhat weakened. And much more gas will be supplied eastwards, if not to Japan as it restores its nuclear capacity, than to China. Indeed, the louder the European threats to reduce Russian gas consumption, the more the two great powers of modern Asia, Russia and China, will again be thrown together in cooperation … Overall Russian gas will remain a large, important, and probably growing component of the European energy market….”
While saying “sanctions have their place” in current policy, keeping “Ukraine together and rebuilding it cannot possibly be achieved without full Russian cooperation.
“An economic package which rests on U.S., European, and Russian resources, and establishes Ukraine again as a prosperous and energy-rich non-bloc country is in fact the only possible future for the area, short of unending civil war bloodshed, and the rippling out of damage and danger to the whole network post-Western world.
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Lord Howell is the chairman of the Windsor Energy Group, which as the name implies, is an energy policy forum patronized by the Queen, whose annual, closed-door conferences are held at Windsor Castle. The WEG was founded by Middle East Consultants (MEC International Ltd), a London-based consultancy that includes former British Foreign Service officers and other Middle East specialists. MEC is headed by Lord Lothian or the Marquess of Lothian, scion of the infamous historical family that goes back 13 generations and is close to the Royal family.