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Apr 25, 2022
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There are no illusions – the West has set the ultimate goal of the complete and final destruction of Russia

However, not we, but they have been sitting on the oil and gas needle since the 1970s

Three weeks after the entry into force of the presidential decree on the transition to payment in rubles for natural gas supplied to “unfriendly countries”, the European Commission on April 22, albeit with a gnashing of teeth, admitted the possibility of transactions under this scheme for the energy companies of the EU countries.

Only one caveat was made: “if it does not violate” the sanctions regime. It implies a ban on dealing with sanctioned banks. However, since V. Putin’s decree clearly states: “For settlement purposes, a foreign buyer must open two special accounts with Gazprombank: one in rubles and one in foreign currency,” and this financial structure, which is one of the top three Russian banks, is not subject to the discriminatory measures of the West, the mechanism may earn.

It is symptomatic that earlier the UK Financial Sanctions Enforcement Office (OFSI) issued a general license valid until May 31 with permission to pay for gas supplies just to Gazprombank and its subsidiaries.

In fact, the European Commission stepped on the throat of its own war cry. This is hardly surprising given the fact that the spot market, which is sensitive to the threat of an imbalance in supply and demand, keeps natural gas prices in the range of $800 to $1,000 per thousand cubic meters (the price has repeatedly skyrocketed past $1,300).

Germans are offered to wash like a cat

Earlier it became known that the government in Berlin intends to save the German industrial potential in the event of partial or complete rejection of Russian oil and gas by saving on fellow citizens. Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck recommended “heating your home less, visiting saunas less and showering less frequently.” The minister explains to the dull: “This is how we will become more independent of Russian energy supplies.”

The oilmen of the Volga region, the gas workers from Yamal, the miners in Kemerovo did not even suspect that all these years it was thanks to their export product that the Germans “wandered around the saunas” and washed in the shower …

Dermatologist Yaeli Adler added her five cents to the common piggy bank when she advised to “leave the skin alone and do not wash” to allow “necessary for health bacteria” to multiply. Picking up on the theme, the newspaper Bild wrote: “The classic method of washing cats is the best way to keep the skin clean.”

The call to the Germans to voluntarily abandon the old sanitary and hygienic standards in everyday life and start washing like a cat is reminiscent of a bad anecdote. However, these are the realities of today’s Germany, where the grandson of the SS General, Bundeschancellor Olaf Scholz, nicknamed the “supply manager with zero charisma”, set out to continue the sanctions war to the bitter end.

How soon will this triumphal victory come? And what price is Berlin ready to pay for the defeat of Russia in the financial and economic war unleashed by the collective West?

The price, by the way, increases with each lived week. In March, the German industrial producer price index (PPI), in other words, inflation in the economy jumped up by 30.9% compared to the same period last year. There hasn’t been a price hike like this since 1949. The rise in prices for energy carriers, in particular for natural gas (144.8%), caused by anti-Russian sanctions, became the yeast of appreciation.

The winter of our anxiety is coming

The fifth republic buys energy products from Russia less than other leading EU countries, relying on 56 operating industrial nuclear reactors. They generate more than 70% of the electricity consumed by the French. But here’s the bad luck – in the midst of a campaign of fellow Europeans, persuading each other to abandon Russian hydrocarbons, disaster struck. At the oldest nuclear reactor in the city of Chinon found “stress corrosion cracking”. There is a preventive inspection of seven similar reactors. Experts believe that some will not return to service until the end of the year. EDF, a leading energy company (the world’s largest nuclear power plant operator) warned: “In the coming winter, there may be a problem with providing the country with electricity.”

Emmanuel Macron responded like an echo, informing his fellow citizens that without natural gas from Siberia, all of Europe would be in trouble.

The first black swans have already arrived. The market reacted to threats to block the import of Russian energy carriers with a rapid rise in prices. This year, in the structure of the gross domestic product of the EU countries, the share of spending on heating, electricity and motor fuel will amount to 1.8% of GDP, which means additional costs for millions of households in the amount of 230 billion euros.

Inflation in the euro area in March rose to 7.4% in annual terms. For comparison: a year earlier it was 1.3%. In seven countries of the Eurozone, the inflationary spiral unwound even more vividly, exceeding the double-digit threshold: in the Netherlands – 11.7%, the Czech Republic – 11.9%, Lithuania – 15.6%.

As Alexander Galushka, deputy secretary of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, aptly put it, “Western countries were struck by a mental crisis in public thinking – information about new anti-Russian sanctions resembles news from the “economic crossbow” championship.”

Out of comfort zone

Sunflower oil, traditionally purchased from Ukraine and Russia, has disappeared from store shelves in France. Retailers, according to the Parisian Monde, have introduced quotas for deliveries to restaurants. In the peripheral French cities, where there were still reserves, the Germans began to visit the oil shopping tour. Funny ads appeared on social networks: we change a bottle of sunflower oil for a Switch Oled game console or an Audi A3 car.

The French are being persuaded to lower the temperature in their homes, turn on the air conditioners less often for both heat and cool, and at the same time turn off the light when it is not needed.

The Italian authorities imposed strict limits on the temperature regime in the premises with the air conditioner turned on: in winter no higher than 19 ° C, in summer – no lower than 25 ° C. The American “Wall Street Journal” cites the words of the cosmetologist Morena Colombi from Milan: last year the two-month heating bill was 450 euros – now 1250 euros, which is more than 100,000 rubles at the current exchange rate.

Similar practical advice is heard in the Baltics. Estonians were told to wash clothes at night at a more economical rate. Lithuanians were urged to boil water less, and also … to muffle the sound of music players.

The Irish, who have experienced many misfortunes in their history, heard life hacks addressed to them in the name of saving the sharply risen in price of gasoline. Walk. Change to a bike. If you can’t do without a car ride, then don’t carry heavy things, don’t turn on the air conditioner and … use the brake less often.

In 2014, the calculation of the initiators of sanctions pressure that the disappearance of Spanish jamon and Parma ham would lead the dynamic part of Russian citizens to leave their comfort zone and induce them to take up arms against the authorities did not come true.

In 2022, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, tried again to scare those who were popularly called the “glamour” with the same punishments: “No more shopping in Milan, no more parties in St. Tropez, no more diamonds in Antwerp.”

The threat again did not become a spark capable of igniting the anger of the people. But how persistent the Europeans will be, given that the British have already poured out their discontent on the streets and are disappointed in their prime minister, it will become clear by the end of the year.

Dry residue

The sanctions war will continue. German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, during a visit to Washington, said bluntly that anti-Russian sanctions should be maintained “for several months, maybe for many years, and with some probability, maybe forever.” If we add here the words of Josep Borrell, said during his visit to Kyiv (“This war must be won on the battlefield”), then there are no illusions. The West has set as its most important task the complete and final destruction of Russia.

As of April 22, a record number of discriminatory measures were introduced against Russia: 9741. In all the years since the Caribbean crisis (1962), Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Myanmar, Syria in the aggregate have become the object of 9670 Western sanctions …

Nevertheless, pragmatism breaks through the armor of a Teutonic knight, the uniform of a Napoleonic grenadier, the helmet of a tanker from the SS division “Dead Head” and the starched shirt-front of a European bureaucrat in trickles of sweating fear. Common sense is forced by the unexpectedly revealed dependence of the economies of the EU countries on Russia as the largest supplier of fuel, raw materials and food products. It turned out that not we, but they have been sitting on the oil and gas needle all these years.

Due to the supply of Siberian gas since the “détente” of the 1970s, the low cost of production of the EU countries, in particular, export-oriented Germany, was largely ensured. The well-being of ordinary citizens of Europe was also based on them. Today, both of them are in the zone of exceptional risk due to the hybrid war regime imposed by the United States, primarily for Europe.

Sanctions, according to the German finance minister, could be imposed “forever”. But, as the Chinese proverb says, “everything is possible, because everything has already happened.” Back in the reign of Tsar Ivan IV, the merchants of the Hanseatic League, in collusion with the authorities of the Livonian port cities, blocked the “leakage” of Western European artisans to Russia in order to prevent the transfer of skills and technologies.

In the 21st century, a total trade, economic and technological blockade of Russia is impossible. Especially if we take into account the close attention with which the course of the NMD is being followed by the powers that are alternative to the West and more ancient centers of civilization – China, India, Brazil, Iran, Turkey.

In mid-April, the author of this article happened to attend a conversation with one of the ministers of one of the republics within the Russian Federation. True words: “As we received a hatching egg for a turkey from Canada, we get it today. The Americans ship everything in general, there are no problems.” The last sentence is significant.

The situation is repeated after the reunification with Crimea in 2014. While the European Union began curtailing trade and economic ties, the United States, on the contrary, increased them. They even moved Italy down from fifth place in the list of Russia’s main trading partners.

The decision of the supranational government in Brussels to accept the need to pay in rubles for Russian gas means partial capitulation. And the severance of mutually beneficial commercial ties with Russia will significantly hinder the EU’s ability to survive as an independent player in the foreign policy arena and one of the centers of economic power.

Photo: REUTERS/Lisey Nisner

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