Background Briefing: April 27, 2022


What’s Next After Russia Cuts Off Gas to Poland and Bulgaria?

We begin with Russia’s cut off of gas to Poland and Bulgaria and examine the possibility of further disruptions of supplies to the energy-dependent European countries reliant on Russian oil and gas. Joining us from the U.K. is Jonathan Stern, distinguished research fellow and the founder of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies’ Natural Gas Research Program. He is Honorary Professor at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum & Mineral Law & Policy, University of Dundee and since 2011 has been the EU speaker for the EU-Russia Gas Advisory Council. The author of several books, the most recent of which is The Pricing of Internationally Traded Gas, we discuss what alternative supplies might come from the Eastern Mediterranean and Algeria and why oil and gas from Russia continues to flow across Ukraine in the middle of a war where pipelines are easy targets. 


The Most Revealing Episode to Emerge From the January 6 Insurrection

Then we examine one of the most revealing episodes to emerge from the traumatic events on January 6 which was first mentioned by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker in their book I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J.Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year and recently was described by Congressman Jamie Raskin who recounted when Secret Service agents whisked VP Pence down into the Capitol basement and tried to get him into his limo. Raskin said Pence suspected the agents were reporting to Trump’s Secret Service agents, at which point Pence then, to quote Raskin, “uttered what I think are the six most chilling words of this entire thing I’ve seen so far: ‘I’m not getting in that car.” Raskin went on to say Pence “knew exactly what this inside coup they had planned for was going to do.” Joining us is Michael Greenberger, the former Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General in the U.S. Justice Department where he supervised work on security matters. He is the founder and director of the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland where he also teaches Constitutional Law.


Is Putin About to Expand the War Into Moldova?

Then finally we look into the possibility Putin wants to expand the war into Moldova following bombings that Zelensky claims are FSB provocations in false flag operations. Joining us is an expert on Moldova, Jonathan Katz, the director of Democracy Initiatives and a senior fellow with The German Marshall Fund of the United States. From 2014-2017, he was the deputy assistant administrator in the Europe and Eurasia bureau at the U.S. Agency for International Development and prior to that served as the staff director of the Europe Subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and as a senior advisor to the assistant secretary in the International Organization Affairs Bureau at the U.S. Department of State.