The Russian cutoff this time also exacted collateral damage, halting oil flows through its "Friendship" pipeline to Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, and Slovakia. Though a compromise appears to have ended the immediate crisis, the incident has deepened European fears about overreliance on Russian energy. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso called Moscow's tactics "not acceptable," and the European Union rolled out a long-term plan to reduce dependence on oil and gas.
A 'Country' That's All Yours-for a Price
Wanna buy a country, of sorts? The tiny Principality of Sealand-a former World War II British military installation in the North Sea-is up for sale. Sealand consists of two concrete towers and a steel platform accessible only by boat or helicopter. Abandoned by the British government, it was taken over and refurbished by a retired Army major, Paddy Roy Bates. It was proclaimed "Sealand" in 1967. Prince Roy, as he is known, and his family once blocked a Navy eviction effort, and his claim of sovereignty was upheld by courts. The principality sports its own flag, anthem, stamps, and passport and gets de facto recognition from some European states, though not Britain. Sealand's price? Nearly $1 billion, says a Spanish real-estate firm.
With Kevin Whitelaw and Associated Press