Gazprom has breached contracts and restricted or stopped gas imports to numerous European nations since last week. A plan that serves both political and economic goals and will result in an inversion of the Old Continent's energy paradigm.

russian gas pipeline
[Russian gas pipeline]

Russia's pressure on Europe by progressively shutting off their gas serves various reasons and multiplies political, economic, and social pressure points. "The cutbacks and gas cuts, carried out under different pretexts such as a shortage of replacement parts as a result of Western sanctions, make it feasible to underline Moscow's antagonism toward European initiatives." "For example, four leaders of state and government visited Kiev last week," says Marc-Antoine Eyl-Mazzega, director of Ifri's energy and climate centre (French Institute for International Relations). Russia, on the other hand, is not shooting itself in the foot since profits from oil and derivatives are far more important to the Russian economy than gas exports.

The Kremlin moves with greater zeal as it observes that the Europeans manage to recompose their inventories despite everything, although at exorbitant prices, limiting Moscow's annoyance capacity this winter. You should practise them right now. Especially when petrol shortage drives up costs, which might lead to societal unrest, such as the "yellow vest" protests in France. Similarly, a dearth of fertilisers (all synthetic nitrogen fertilisers are derived from fossil fuels) and a ban on wheat exports might result in a true food crisis. "The Russians have a nice time blaming Western sanctions when they seek to use famine as a political weapon," says Ifri director Thomas Gomart.

The energy crisis will have a significant impact. "European competitiveness will suffer significantly since we have long relied on cheap energy prices," says Marc-Antoine Eyl-Mazzega. Today, however, a European will pay 100 euros for a megawatt hour of gas, whereas an American would pay 10 and a Russian will pay 2 or 3. In response, "Middle Eastern nations are attempting to build on low carbon energy such as hydrogen." In the short and medium run, European industries may seek to go where energy is cheap. This means employment losses on our continent, a loss of value... the entire ecology is disrupted," argues the expert. To reduce global warming, he believes it will be vital to strive to invest in OECD nations.

All of this is leading to a "reversal of the energy paradigm, which will further enhance connections between the US and the rest of the Atlantic Alliance," according to Ifri's director. "As we strive towards decarbonization by 2050, we are hastening systemic transformation." The transformation increases rather than decreases geopolitical danger.

Indeed, in order to wean itself off Russian gas, Europe will resort to American liquefied natural gas, which is derived from shale gas by hydraulic fracturing, a technology that is not particularly consistent with "green" goals. "We are shifting from reliance on Russia to reliance on the United States." "American gas imports are highly flexible, they have a big economic advantage, but if they want to fulfil the requirements of investors, they will have to address the "cleanliness" of their extraction procedures," said Marc-Antoine Eyl. -Mazzega.
Previous Post Next Post