Putin: If Europe doesn’t want our gas, we will redirect resources, build new pipeline http://youtu.be/nIhtXSA0arI
While the behaviour of Russia in recent months, especially in Ukraine, has been appalling, it is interesting to see Putin speak knowledgeably about the technical (or semi- technical) details of Russia’s economic policy.
Contrast it to most speeches by some African leaders. Most of the times when you hear certain African leaders speak in such bilateral settings, they appear to be not well-versed as to the specific details of economic cooperation with their neighbours. It’s depressing to hear them give speeches full of soundbites and meaningless rhetoric but devoid of any real content. With little substance.
In Malawi, when I remember the speeches of Bakili Muluzi, Bingu Mutharika and even Joyce Banda, I don’t think I can remember them laying details of an economic policy so succinctly as Putin seems to be doing here.
Which can mean several things:- either they are not properly informed of the technical details of deals they are trying to broker, when they go to promote bilateral relations with neighbouring countries, or in forums such as SADC, in terms of what is required of them; or they choose to present the media with a sanitised and boring version of the real initiatives, one devoid of substance. Failing that, either they are ignorant of the details of such projects, or simply don’t care so much as to present an informative and interesting picture. Whichever it is, it’s not good enough.