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As it becomes clear that the increasingly isolated NATO West has backed a loser a second front has opened in the Ukrainian conflict – the energy war in Europe concedes The Wall Street Journal. Russian President Vladimir Putin outlined his strategy for this stage in June at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
High energy prices and the difficulties associated with them will cause social upheaval, which means that Europeans will, first of all, think about their financial well-being. This, in turn, will bring populist parties to power, which, according to the Russian leader, will replace the ‘elites’ in Europe.
The ultimate goal of the Kremlin is to bring to power Europe governments that will not support Ukraine and split the Western coalition. And this strategy, the WSJ notes, is already working.
So, in July, the right-wing party withdrew from Italy’s ruling coalition, citing the ‘terrible choice’ Italian families faced: ‘pay the electricity bill or buy food.’ This forced the resignation of Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who stupidly travelled to Kyiv in June to reaffirm globalist support for beleaguered on-the-ropes Ukraine.
This energy war is not only about current prices, but also about the countdown to winter, when the question of whether Europe will be able to fill gas storage and meet increased heating needs with the onset of cold weather is becoming more and more acute.
As of the beginning of August, Russia has reduced gas supplies to Europe by more than 70%. As a result, natural gas prices for European consumers have increased by seven or eight times.
The crisis is further aggravated by Ukraine’s seizure (theft) of Russian assets in Ukraine. Now classed as ‘an unfriendly state’, Moscow is poised to turn the tap off one of the remaining blue fuel links to gas-starved Europe.
To make up for the shortfall, EU countries are attempting to achieve supplies of liquefied natural gas, which is usually sent by suppliers to other regions of the world. In particular, highly expensive U.S. LNG exports typically go mostly to Asia, but this year about two-thirds went to Europe.
In addition, they are trying to provide new supplies. Thus, the German government is developing projects in Senegal, and the Italian government in Mozambique. A number of contracts have been signed to finance new liquefied natural gas developments in the United States. However, none of these new projects will be ready for this winter or even next. Also, countries are forced to return to operation mothballed coal plants, which were planned to be closed forever.
As the WSJ believes, the situation is likely to worsen in the next few months. And, it is very likely that the EU countries will be forced to fight with Asian states for Russian liquefied gas. In particular, the economic recovery in China after the lockdown caused by the spread of the coronavirus or the cold winter in Asia will become an excuse to fight Europe for LNG exports, which will lead to further price increases.
At the same time, the economic crisis will put pressure on European politics, and the deterioration in the standard of living of Europeans may lead to the fact that Europe will abandon the idea of supporting Ukraine.
According to the WSJ, at the moment Europe’s gas storage facilities are about 67% full, but the Kremlin is trying to prevent further filling. However, the publication believes that in the end, not even politics will affect the energy war, but what they cannot control either in Moscow or in Brussels. Russia and the EU can agree on at least one thing: ‘winter is coming.’ STORY SPONSORED BY DAGMAR, GERMANY
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