Saturday, May 28, 2022
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Letter from Slovakia 3: Mr Putin’s gas bill

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ACTUALLY, Europe’s energy and financial war with Putin has some amusing aspects as well. Kicking out selected Russian banks from the SWIFT transaction system means that they cannot receive payments from abroad. So it is impossible now for us to pay for Putin’s gas to any of those banks on the list. 

Sorry guys, we would like to pay you for the gas but you just have your accounts in the wrong banks. Why don’t you use some other bank that is not blacklisted? So Putin’s guy in Gazprom goes ahead and opens up a new bank account. Happy that he has just solved what seemed to be just a minor technical issue, Putin’s Gazprom sends us a corrected invoice with the new account details included. But accidentally that other bank has now just been blacklisted as well. So we are now back to square 1 again. Sorry guys, same issue, try again, please.

So Putin’s guy in Gazprom faces this uncomfortable dilemma. Either he uses a non-Russian bank or turns off the gas. Well, using a non-Russian bank may not be such a good idea these days. But turning off gas completely would be a flagrant breach of a trade agreement, since we are willing to pay them, we just do not know how.

So Putin’s guy in Gazprom now either comes up with some completely new idea how to get paid or continue supplying us with gas without getting paid at all. The latter does not seem to be a good idea for obvious reasons. So how is he to get paid? In gold? Possible, but not really practical. Then he gets this brilliant idea to use bitcoin. Fair enough, we can do that, making my bitcoin investment from the time when they cost about $400 even more attractive as the price of the bitcoin would most certainly go through the roof. No complaints about that on my side, Mr Putin. 

But even getting paid in bitcoins does not solve the issue completely for Mr Putin. Because there is still this nasty possibility of bitcoin network updating its protocol and completely eliminating Gazprom’s bitcoin wallet just like Etherum network did when it found out that due to a bug there were some wallets that misused the bug and got etherums by fraudulent means. But how do we know which wallet is Gazprom’s? Isn’t that supposed to be completely anonymous information? Well, it is actually quite easy to find out. Just have a look at Gazprom’s invoice, since it would have to be right there.

I find this whole aspect of the war quite amusing. Less amusing is what I have found out just a couple of hours ago. The Ukrainian mother with her kids for whom I was supposed to provide housing is not coming. She had suffered a nervous breakdown. She decided to leave her children with a charity and is now heading back to Ukraine. Quite possibly to fight alongside her husband.

God bless her and God bless Ukraine. 

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Ivan Pupak
Ivan Pupak
Ivan Pupak is a Slovak national whose life mission is to make Slovak little more simple to learn for foreigners and get rid of some of its completely useless grammar rules (that drive both foreign and native students of Slovak crazy!)

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