31.03.2023 Author: Vladimir Danilov

The Gas Crisis has already Begun to Change the Balance of Power in Europe

Gas crisis

While European officials and individual members of the European political elite try, to the detriment of ordinary Europeans, to develop a mechanism that would allow EU members to block even Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies without imposing additional sanctions, Europe’s deepening gas and economic crisis has already begun to shift the balance of power. The initiators of this “effort,” as expected, were Ursula von der Leyen and Josep Borrell, backed by the current political elites of Poland, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia, who are notorious for their commitment to Washington and Russophobia.

As everyone is well aware, the energy crisis of 2022 occurred as a result of the redistribution of the EU gas market planned by Washington in 2021 in order to gain a trade advantage in a civilized and non-competitive manner. The White House launched a sanctions campaign against Russia, putting pressure on European authorities who only support the USA, compelling them to succumb to American dictate and, to the detriment of Europe’s economy and interests, to refuse cheap Russian gas in favor of far more expensive gas from the USA.

This is not the first time the White House has taken control of the energy market and established the circumstances for its national debt to be written off. This was the primary purpose of all US military actions in Libya, Iraq, Syria, and the Middle East in general.

The Swedish tabloid Nya Dagbladet reported rather convincingly on how Washington was hatching an evil plan for Ukraine and Europe, citing “scary documents” from the American RAND Corporation on the subject. One can see from these documents a “special interest” in such actions for the United States in preserving the American economy and banking system, in destroying cooperation not only between Germany and Russia, but also between Berlin and Paris, whose rapprochement is recognized as a major competitive economic and political threat to the United States. As a result, as the RAND analysis points out, the White House’s only route out of the current scenario is to draw Paris and Berlin into the fight in Ukraine, hurting their economy and increasing the leadership positions of Europe’s green parties.

And Washington’s evil plans began to be strenuously pursued, with the active cooperation of obviously pro-US European officials. Frankly speaking, it was not that difficult given Europe’s broad relaxation from the fixed-price guaranteed conditions of blue fuel supplies from Russia over many years, coupled with their confidence that this would not one day come to an end or bring about a general crisis.

As a result, the German and French leaders previously installed by Washington did not challenge the White House’s demand for increased involvement of Paris and Berlin in the conflict in Ukraine, sending weapons and ammunition even at the obvious risk of their own security. As a result, as Der Spiegel reported the other day, Germany is eager to raise its financial and military support for Ukraine from the current three billion euros to more than 15 billion euros. And this in the face of Germany’s own economic disaster and the country’s need for such substantial funds!

Of course, the issue arises: given the financial limits that even the richest parts of Europe face, how long will Europe be ready to pay for a considerably more expensive blue fuel than the EU budgets can afford? After all, Europe now spends ten times more for filling its underground gas storage facilities than it did a year ago due to the shift from cheap Russian piped gas to liquefied American gas. This financial load will only increase in all EU countries in the future. As the United States now has monopoly rights on gas supply, it will not hesitate to line its pockets further at the cost of European customers, even if it means profiting the most from the sale of its LNG on the European market. According to a research by the White House Council of Economic Advisors, US LNG exports to Europe grew to 117.4 million cubic meters in 2022, nearly 2.5 times higher than the previous year (47.8 million cubic meters). And Washington is doing everything it can to boost its gas expansion into Europe by shackling Europe’s gas supply.

According to European media, as the EU’s energy problem worsens, there is already a severe division within the bloc, with “first cracks” forming as early as the end of last year. Legislators from the EU’s unmistakable “American bloc” are currently speaking out more and more about the US’s involvement in the European energy crisis, particularly the blatant terrorist attack on the Nord Stream pipeline in the Baltic Sea. Steffen Kotré, a member of the parliamentary committee on climate protection and energy and a member of the “Alternative for Germany” faction in the Bundestag, for instance, thinks that the West’s refusal to support a Russian-Chinese resolution in the UN Security Council calling for an international investigation of sabotage on the Nord Streams demonstrates a clear desire to keep the United States’ involvement in this subversion hidden from the public. As a result of the ban on the import of cheap Russian gas, which is also causing an increase in the number of bankrupt firms and people poverty, Germany is steadily becoming immobilized by a large public transportation strike as well as other industries. Several export-oriented German enterprises that have not yet gone bankrupt as a result of the Washington-caused crisis have been compelled to quit Germany, transferring their operations to the United States or other nations where conditions are calmer, energy is cheaper, and taxes are lower. Living standards in Germany have decreased throughout the past year due to this aggressive US policy, and as a result, social demands from the working class for better salaries have intensified, and strong anti-government rallies are brewing.

In a situation exacerbated by the energy crisis of rivalry among European governments for gas providers, the British energy giant BP, along with ADNOC of the UAE, proposes to pay a hefty premium for NewMed Energy’s stake in Israel’s largest field Leviathan in the Mediterranean Sea. Furthermore, these actions take the same severe turn as before, when American oil giant Chevron purchased a share in Leviathan.

Today, Europe is paying close attention to the words of Mohsen Khojasteh-Mehr, the head of the National Iranian Oil Corporation (NIOC), who has stated that Iran can raise its oil and gas production capacity by 50%, for which the government is waiting for $71 billion in foreign investments in the gas industry. Given the EU’s interest in gas, it cannot be ruled out that, as a result, not only China, but also some European governments, may take additional efforts to build ties with Iran and ease some sanctions against it, hastening the end of American hegemony and the emergence of a new multipolar world.

Vladimir Danilov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.

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