Russia Behind Fracking Protests?

More that a few European officials are beginning to point a finger at Russia for alleged covert operations designed to stop fracking procedures  from going forward as it presents a threat to their domination of certain energy markets.

Gazprom, a state-controlled energy giant, has a clear interest in preventing countries dependent on Russian natural gas from developing their own alternative supplies of energy, they say, preserving a lucrative market for itself — and a potent foreign policy tool for the Kremlin.

“Everything that has gone wrong is from Gazprom,” Mr. Mircia said.

They’re being accused of working with NGOs and environmentalist groups. While this particular ciricism seems confined to Europe, given the global nature of big business today, attempts or operations to manipulate domestic markets working with similar groups could become a concern, as well.

Before stepping down in September as NATO’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen gave voice to this alarm with remarks in London that pointed a finger at Russia and infuriated environmentalists.

“Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called nongovernmental organizations — environmental organizations working against shale gas — to maintain dependence on imported Russian gas,” Mr. Rasmussen said. He presented no proof and said the judgment was based on what NATO allies had reported.

Feeding what environmental groups denounce as a frenzy of paranoia have been Russian actions in Ukraine. Russia’s president, the former K.G.B. officer Vladimir V. Putin, has deployed a powerful arsenal there dominated by stealth and subterfuge, first to annex Crimea in March and, more recently, to foment an armed separatist rebellion in the east.