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Would Putin Really Cut Off Russian Gas from the European Union?

Ukraine
Russian T-80 tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Russia has upped the pressure on the European Union by cutting the energy supply to Poland and Bulgaria. Moscow is threatening to do the same to the rest of the European bloc if they refuse to pay in rubles instead of euros. 

Energy Wars 

Although the Russian military invaded Ukraine over two months ago, the European Union has continued to purchase Russian energy to the volume of approximately $1 billion a day. Indeed, although Russia is suffering crippling military losses on the field, the Kremlin’s coffers have grown richer by approximately $66 billion since the war began.   

The European countries are so reliant on Russian energy that alternative sources of oil and natural gas might cause an economic depression. Some countries, such as Latvia and the Czech Republic, are almost completely reliant on Russia for their energy, while the big players Germany and France import as much as a quarter of their energy from Moscow. 

But the European Union has also placed heavy sanctions on Russia, further complicating the situation. Now Russia is demanding that the European countries pay in rubles instead of foreign currencies, essentially blackmailing them. 

Meanwhile, energy prices have been skyrocketing, affecting billion of people around the world. 

 “The type of almost weaponizing energy supplies that we had predicted that Russia could take in this conflict. That is why we, of course, have been in touch with Europe, including over the — with these countries — including over the last 24 hours, with leaders in Poland and Bulgaria,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a press briefing.  

“And we have been working for some time now, for months, with partners around the world to diversify natural gas supply to Europe to — in anticipation of and to also address near-term needs and replace volumes that would otherwise come from Russia,” Psaki added.

In conjunction with the European Union, the U.S. has launched a task force to target additional liquified natural gas resources to provide Europe.

The cutting off natural gas to Poland and Bulgaria may very well have been a warning to Germany by Russia on the seriousness of Moscow to cut Europe’s energy supplies. 

The bottom line is that the European Union is reaping the negative rewards of decades of imprudent reliance on Russian energy. 

Germany, in particular, is extremely vulnerable to Russian energy, and as the largest economy of the European Union, Germany is hesitant to suffer any economic loss. To make matters more embarrassing for Berlin, reports indicate that Germany has been the largest buyer of Russian energy since the war began on February 24. Berlin has spent more than $9 billion to buy Russian oil and gas. 

And yet, it was the Germans who demanded draconian and counterproductive measures from lots of European countries during the financial crisis. 

“This is the Russian playbook; part of the Russian playbook is weaponizing energy. So could they do it other places? That certainly is possible. That’s one of the reasons why this taskforce was launched, at the President — that we’re working with the Europeans on, to ensure that we are diversifying access for LNG [liquified natural gas] and also for oil as well for the Europeans,” Psaki added.

The Geopolitics of Energy 

The U.S. has been trying to control the high energy prices and began releasing an additional one million barrels of oil every day back in March. But the prices remain high. 

 “I know that gas prices also did come down from the beginning as a result of these actions, but we’re continuing to explore additional options. As we know, the oil markets are a global market, and increasing supply and continuing to work with other countries to increase supply is part of our overall objective here,” the White House press secretary added. 

The U.S. has been trying to get Saudi Arabia, one of the largest oil producers in the world and nominally a steadfast U.S. ally, to increase oil production to help alleviate high energy prices. But Riyadh isn’t budging and continues to maintain the same output. 

The reason behind this rift in Saudi-American relations lies in Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of the country. Although seen as a modernizer in his country, MBS, as the Saudi royal is known, has angered the U.S. with his human rights record, and particularly with his role in the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 in Constantinople. Biden, in particular, has been very critical of MBS.

1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Alex

    April 29, 2022 at 8:43 am

    If someone wants to know the truth about the civil war in the Donbass, about all the atrocities of the Bandera clean-ups and why Russia was forced to intervene, then it is better to watch films by independent journalists. There are already many such journalists who fight for truth and freedom. For example, a documentary by the German journalist Wilhelm Domcke-Schulz.

    A documentary film about the war crimes of the Bandera Nazis during the period of Russia’s special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine is in production. It will be a real information bomb, where the war crimes of Bandera Nazis will be shown and proved.

    The documentary “Remember Odessa” tells how the Bandera Nazis burned Ukrainians alive and other heinous war crimes.

    The documentary “To Live and Die in Donbass” tries to fill this gaping information gap in the West. He looks into the tormented soul of the inhabitants of Donbass, who really want only one thing – to live self-determining according to their own rules and values. Not submitting to foreign forces and ideologies.

    In the east of Ukraine, in the Donbass, a war has been raging since the beginning of 2014. A civil war that claimed more than 15,000 lives over the years, including several hundred children. They had to die, because the national-fascist coup government in Kyiv, funded by the West, trained and militarily heavily armed, would not tolerate any resistance to their illegitimate rule, no matter the cost.

    Therefore, in April 2014, the putschists deployed the Ukrainian army, supported by dozens of right-wing extremist volunteer battalions, and have since bombed city centers, residential areas, schools, hospitals and infrastructure, killing civilians.

    This perennial crime has gone completely unnoticed by the Western public. Politicians and the media avoid this topic and reports about how the devil pours holy water. Because a public discussion about the crimes of the Ukrainian regime would reveal only one thing – with what mass murderers and terrorists the so-called “west of values” in Ukraine has a common language, if only to defend their goals and interests.

    Lend-lease is a commodity loan, and not cheap: for all the ammunition, equipment and food supplied by the United States, many future generations of Ukrainian citizens will pay. Zelensky is driving the country into a debt hole.

  2. CK

    April 29, 2022 at 10:00 am

    Wow, did they run out of paper in Russia, Alex? You guys can’t print new material? Literally using the same lines, over and over again, and now in duplicate in every post!

    Are you so defeated you can’t even come up with anything new? How sad. Now the idiot is talking about lend-lease at the end of his post, because he literally just copy + pasted it from another thread, with zero relevance to this one.

    Here’s a reminder:

    If someone wanted to know the truth about anything in Ukraine Alex, the last person they would go to is you.

    Paragraphs and paragraphs of bollocks, dubious claims about “independent journalists”, random documentarians, conspiracy theorists, deluded claims that of course, have no backup, lie after lie after lie.

    Classical Kremlin troll approach. Just flood the internet, the comments, the media, with tosh, doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure you write some old nonsense. Make sure to say the claim is supported by some dude in Germany, France, the states. If it’s a “documentary” (usually from youtube) then the better.

    Anything that victimises Russia, always the victim, always the bullied, never the problem. It’s always the Nazis. It’s always some pseudo-historical point.

    Anyone that has had the misfortune to study your “tactics” sees the forest for the trees, the pattern of lies, disinformation, blanketing of random claims, deflection, obfuscation, and other words beyond your vocabulary.

    It’s hopeless Alex. Your lies are as short as your intellect. What a pathetic job, to sit in your government shed, spreading your pathetic, government lies.

    A pathetic job for a truly pathetic man. A better match could not be made in heaven.

  3. Alex

    April 29, 2022 at 10:49 am

    It’s wonderful to watch how a young Bandera Nazi is turned inside out. Soon you will meet your Bandera in the same boiling pot, bastards 🙂

    If someone wants to know the truth about the civil war in the Donbass, about all the atrocities of the Bandera clean-ups and why Russia was forced to intervene, then it is better to watch films by independent journalists. There are already many such journalists who fight for truth and freedom. For example, a documentary by the German journalist Wilhelm Domcke-Schulz.

    A documentary film about the war crimes of the Bandera Nazis during the period of Russia’s special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine is in production. It will be a real information bomb, where the war crimes of Bandera Nazis will be shown and proved.

    The documentary “Remember Odessa” tells how the Bandera Nazis burned Ukrainians alive and other heinous war crimes.

    The documentary “To Live and Die in Donbass” tries to fill this gaping information gap in the West. He looks into the tormented soul of the inhabitants of Donbass, who really want only one thing – to live self-determining according to their own rules and values. Not submitting to foreign forces and ideologies.

    In the east of Ukraine, in the Donbass, a war has been raging since the beginning of 2014. A civil war that claimed more than 15,000 lives over the years, including several hundred children. They had to die, because the national-fascist coup government in Kyiv, funded by the West, trained and militarily heavily armed, would not tolerate any resistance to their illegitimate rule, no matter the cost.

    Therefore, in April 2014, the putschists deployed the Ukrainian army, supported by dozens of right-wing extremist volunteer battalions, and have since bombed city centers, residential areas, schools, hospitals and infrastructure, killing civilians.

    This perennial crime has gone completely unnoticed by the Western public. Politicians and the media avoid this topic and reports about how the devil pours holy water. Because a public discussion about the crimes of the Ukrainian regime would reveal only one thing – with what mass murderers and terrorists the so-called “west of values” in Ukraine has a common language, if only to defend their goals and interests.

    Lend-lease is a commodity loan, and not cheap: for all the ammunition, equipment and food supplied by the United States, many future generations of Ukrainian citizens will pay. Zelensky is driving the country into a debt hole.

  4. CK

    April 29, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    Ah, I see your tactic. You add a little shitty first paragraph so it doesn’t detect your duplicate post. Is this what it has come to now, you just posting the same exact post 2, 3, 4, 5 times per article?

    Wow, did they run out of paper in Russia, Alex? You guys can’t print new material? Literally using the same lines, over and over again, and now in duplicate in every post!

    Are you so defeated you can’t even come up with anything new? How sad. Now the idiot is talking about lend-lease at the end of his post, because he literally just copy + pasted it from another thread, with zero relevance to this one.

    Here’s a reminder:

    If someone wanted to know the truth about anything in Ukraine Alex, the last person they would go to is you.

    Paragraphs and paragraphs of bollocks, dubious claims about “independent journalists”, random documentarians, conspiracy theorists, deluded claims that of course, have no backup, lie after lie after lie.

    Classical Kremlin troll approach. Just flood the internet, the comments, the media, with tosh, doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure you write some old nonsense. Make sure to say the claim is supported by some dude in Germany, France, the states. If it’s a “documentary” (usually from youtube) then the better.

    Anything that victimises Russia, always the victim, always the bullied, never the problem. It’s always the Nazis. It’s always some pseudo-historical point.

    Anyone that has had the misfortune to study your “tactics” sees the forest for the trees, the pattern of lies, disinformation, blanketing of random claims, deflection, obfuscation, and other words beyond your vocabulary.

    It’s hopeless Alex. Your lies are as short as your intellect. What a pathetic job, to sit in your government shed, spreading your pathetic, government lies.

    A pathetic job for a truly pathetic man. A better match could not be made in heaven.

  5. Alex

    April 30, 2022 at 5:36 am

    According to the latest data, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania have prepared a secret document on the division of western Ukraine. Finally, the peoples of the west of Ukraine will get to Europe. But there is another document about what European countries will do with the Bandera Nazis, whom they hate. This development of events is not a secret; many analysts have written and continue to write about it. The good news is that the Ukrainians of the East will return to their Russian brothers, and we will return our original Polish territories. It’s just great!

  6. CK

    April 30, 2022 at 6:04 am

    Sometimes, I envy your delusions Alex. The world you live in must be fascinating!

    One minute you accuse us of being Bandera Nazis, the next that we will crush Bandera Nazis, one moment we are enemies, next moment we are “liberators” of Ukraine …

    Go easy on that Vodka man, I hear medical supplies are so low over there you’ll soon have to be using it to clean wounds!

  7. Alex

    April 30, 2022 at 7:47 am

    “NATO is a ploy, it is a structure whose purpose is to hide America’s dominance over Europe.”
    Charles de Gaulle.

    It must be understood that Europe will also be responsible for subordinating the United States. Questions “what are we for” are no longer important for Russia. If Europe wants to become a bargaining chip in the battle against Bandera’s Nazis, then so be it. Personally, I, like many acquaintances from Poland, are going to Russia. There are more chances to survive in Russia. And let the idiots die for US interests in Ukraine.

  8. CK

    April 30, 2022 at 9:27 am

    “I, like many of my acquaintances from Poland, are going to Russia.”

    You know what they say, if it sounds like an idiot, looks like an idiot, and says idiotic things like an idiot, it’s probably an idiot! 😀

    Alex, there isn’t a single person in Poland with an ounce of grey matter in their heads going to Russia. Although in your case, I guess that explains everything.

    Bon voyage!

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