A good con is all in the prep work

Hey, kids, if you want to know how to seed the ground for a bit of a wintertime con job, check out what Vladimir Putin is saying today:

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday of the risk of Ukraine siphoning off Russian gas destined for Europe, the Kremlin said.

In a statement, it said that in a phone call the two leaders agreed that talks would be held involving the Russian energy ministry, gas giant Gazprom and the European Commission on the issue.

Putin said the risks of unsanctioned gas siphoning by Kiev had increased because of expectations of a cold winter.

Most of the gas sold by Russia to European countries flows along pipelines crossing Ukraine. Russian gas accounts for over a third of gas consumption in the EU.

Now, look, I am no civil engineer, if that’s even the right kind of engineer in this case, but it seems to me like if you really wanted to cause some more problems for a neighboring country that still isn’t towing the appropriate line, you could suggest to other countries that the natural gas they’re buying from you could, you never know, be siphoned off by the country in question. Better keep an eye on that, folks. Then, who knows, maybe you muck around a little with the amount of gas you actually pump and, when somebody complains, you say “hey, it’s not me; I warned you about these guys siphoning gas out of the pipeline.”

Likely this is not a deception that could hold water for very long, but even the possibility that it could might be enough to get the country with which you’re screwing to finally agree to find the money, somehow, to pre-pay you to for some gas of their own, which is really what you’re after. Anyway, just a little something to keep an eye on.



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