Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:
The European Union’s energy ministers failed in their first meeting to set a cap on the price of energy to prevent the collapse of the unity of Europe, which is on the brink of division due to the consequences of the Ukrainian war. Nevertheless, the disagreement of the European nations’ leaders is also a blessing for the people of the 27-member states, who pay dearly for Europe’s loyalty to the United States of America. European citizens have been under the hefty weight of the high prices of commodities, food and energy for several months. The US admits that its European allies are paying a heavy price to stand by the US-EU sanctions on Russia that hit– not exclusively – the most needed energy in the first place. Nevertheless, the end benefit goes to Washington, defending its unipolar position and world throne, reaping profits from gas selling. Still, at the same time, it strongly contributes to draining the European Union’s wealth and energy. Following Washington’s anti-Russia policy, the EU nations are meant to remain obedient for many years, with a burden that the European population may not accept for very long.
During the first week of this current month of September, European member states failed to find a mechanism that could overcome their differences deriving from the huge disparity between them concerning the dependence of their economies on fuel. Hungary, the Czech Republic and Germany are among the states that fiercely opposed the idea of capping the prices of Russian gas, which highlights their dependence on the fuel despite the modestly optimistic stance from the European Council. For now, the EU ministers discussed possible EU-level measures that could be implemented in the short term. The President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, is expected to present the European Commission’s proposals on September 14.
On June 3, the European Union adopted the sixth package of sanctions, including a partial embargo on Russian oil. The sanctions will ban seaborne imports of Russian crude oil as of December 5, 2022, and petroleum product imports as of February 5, 2023. The EU nations have no visibility of how they will find any other energy source after December, mainly when Iran is still not included as an official exporter due to the differences arising from closing down the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
The EU policy should be decided on the continent according to the population’s interests. However, the EU decisions have been inspired by Washington, which insisted on and obtained the suspension of the flow of Russian gas through Nord Stream 2 to Europe in the first place. The US went further, renewing its grip over the EU leaders and bringing NATO nations together when the North Atlantic organisation was on the brink of collapse, as expressed by French President Emmanuel Macron, who described it as “brain dead”.
In the first weeks of the US-Russian conflict on the Ukrainian territory, the overall assessment was that EU countries, mainly Germany, France and Italy, would avoid being drawn into a significant escalation with Russia. The EU-rich and industrial nations thought they would maintain channels of communication with Russia to keep the doors open to the possibility of a peaceful settlement, appeasing Russia’s worries.
However, the drift of these countries behind the US strategy, and the sacrifice of their huge joint interests with Russia in the energy field, confirmed the inaccuracy of such an initial assessment. The reality is that the Western camp, both the US and Europe, found in this war an opportunity to try to restore their vacillating hegemony. Historically, this hegemony had been achieved first and foremost through colonialism and wars or the threat of resorting to it to deter those who reject it. The actual logic of the current Western approach is the following: We will defeat Russia, deter China, subdue Iran, and re-establish our world leadership.
Western elites consider that they are in a state of war and are trying to mobilise their societies on this basis. They believe that the victory in Ukraine will mark the beginning of additional wins against all other opponents. However, the high cost of this war on the West and the cooperation of all those targeted by this aggressive Western policy may compel the Europeans to review their approach to change since their nations are paying the heaviest price.
Russia said to stop pumping gas to all countries that will impose a price cap, aware that they are most in need of energy. It seems surprising that countries set prices for energy they cannot live without and find limited alternative sources of supply to meet their needs. This is not new to the European colonial mentality that harvested its wealth from dominating other countries over the past decades. Therefore, it believes that it is possible – as the German European Commission President Von der Leyen said – to prevent Russia from increasing its gas revenues and impose a cost price on Moscow. Von der Leyen believes that Russia will accept European dictates, whatever they may be.
For many years, Russia supplied 27% of the EU’s imported oil and 40% of its gas. The EU paid Russia around $430 billion a year in return. Von der Leyen wrongly believed Russia wouldn’t dare stop the gas flow to Europe due to the substantial revenue. This wrong assessment by the EU Commission was clear when Russia imposed the payment in Rouble for its gas and later reduced the flow due to “maintenance” to show its readiness to supply other markets and turn its back to the EU.
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Proofread by: Maurice Brasher