Gas as a weapon

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By BOSNIC DRAGO*

The next European winter could prove to be the perfect acid test in sovereignty

For years, the Political West has been accusing Russia to use its natural resources, mainly gas and oil, as a “weapon”. Moscow would be guilty of using such essential resources to supposedly “blackmail” the European Union, while Brussels, pressured in part by US imperialist belligerence, and in part by its own (neo)colonialist ambition, continued to move closer to the geopolitical backyard of the European Union. Russia, creating tensions with the Eurasian giant.

Moscow would never allow a repeat of the Nazi German invasion, which claimed tens of millions of Russian lives and the unprecedented devastation left in its wake. As if that were not enough, “Barbarossa” – the name of this Nazi military operation in World War II – was just one more in the long list of attempts by the Political West to destroy Russia. For over a thousand years, many in Europe have tried to neutralize the Eurasian giant. Russia prevailed every time, but it had to do so by force of arms.

In recent decades, however, Moscow has been striving to establish mutually beneficial cooperation with the Political West, especially its European portion. This included establishing long-term agreements with the European Union, in particular with regard to the provision of commodities essentials such as natural gas, oil, food and other raw materials, which were helping to fuel the growth of entire industries, in Europe and elsewhere. Russia's hope was to forge lasting ties with the European Union and ensure that the strategic security of its western borders was ensured through economic cooperation rather than through military might. However, Washington had other plans, and complacent elites in Brussels followed suit, ensuring that NATO's military infrastructure (especially high strategic impact US military facilities) continued to expand eastward.

Even in this situation, Moscow tried to reduce an eventual escalation of tensions. even if I followed guarding against this slow and progressive military advance, in particular through the development and military readiness of means strategically unparalleled, Russia seemed hopeful that “cooler heads” would eventually prevail in Brussels and other major European Union capitals, particularly Paris and Berlin. That hope persisted even after the ill-fated 2014 coup d'état, the so-called Euromaidan, which brought the neo-Nazi junta to power in Kiev. For nearly a decade, Moscow continued to try to bring the Political West to its senses. Unfortunately, without success, as this approach was seen by Washington and Brussels as a show of weakness. On February 24, Russia decided to put an end to all imbroglio.

Now, after months of a failed economic siege to the Eurasian giant, especially after the boomerang effect of sanctions started to devastate Western economies, the Political West is trying a new, rather comical, take on a blame game in which it accuses Moscow of using it as a weapon (“weaponizing”) its own natural resources. Faced with the prospect of a disastrous winter, the European Union is now caught between its suicidal subservience to Washington and the need to simply survive.

While the United States continues to import commodities Russian (in a volume of approximately 1 billion dollars per month), force Brussels, for its part, to apply what is, strictly speaking, a self-imposed embargo, which causes incalculable damage to the declining European productive sector, followed by a cascading effect of economic devastation in other apparently unrelated sectors.

Instead of seeking a deal with Moscow, Brussels has engaged in an economic war against Russia, which prompts the Eurasian giant to respond. Now, when natural gas prices around a 400% increase in one year, European Union powers, particularly Germany, face the prospect of an industrial standstill. And the burning problem is not just rising natural gas prices, but also economic scarcity. For months, high prices had been draining the resources of European economies, but now that the Nord Stream pipeline has stopped pumping hydrocarbons for good, the question is exponentially worse, as entire industries are in danger of collapsing.

In addition to the paralysis of the productive sector, many members of the European Union are faced with rising energy prices, which puts enormous pressure on families, who find themselves facing not only the prospect of financial bankruptcy but also physical freezing, as the cold season in Europe is starting with natural gas storage facilities at their lowest-ever levels. Thus, the pressure on Brussels becomes both economic and social. If a few governments of EU member states manage to collapse, political instability in the bloc will increase considerably in the coming months. In addition to the scarcity of natural gas, it is necessary to consider the increase in food prices, soon transmuted into shortages, increasing social and political instability throughout the bloc.

The question is: what will the European Union do? Are you going to ask your Washington bosses for help? And will the United States send food, oil, gas and other essentials? Do they have enough of it for themselves? How can “morale-raising focus on Putin” help heat homes, feed hundreds of millions of hungry (and angry) citizens, and power entire economies and countries?

How will the governments of the European Union explain to their voters that all of this is “worth it” to sustain the survival of “Kiev's young and vibrant democracy”? What will Europe be like in 2023, after proving political and social fraying? It will still be sovereign to realize that, whatever happens, the United States will continue to import commodities Russia's essentials, while pressuring others not to? The next winter could prove to be the perfect test of fire in sovereignty, in addition to being an excellent indicator of who will have the privilege of being part of the new multipolar world of sovereign nations.

*Drago Bosnic is a Croatian geopolitical and military analyst, collaborates with the news and analysis portals GlobalResearch and InfoBRICS.

Translation: Ricardo Cavalcanti-Schiel.

Originally published in InfoBRICS.

 

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