Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I think we need a diary to explore the question of how dependent is Europe on Russian gas supplies. In the event of a new war in the Ukraine (which seems more likely by the day) we are sure to find out quickly.

The invisible hand is at work: electricity and gas will cost a zillion dollars, so the market will provide (hum household diesel generators anyone? Welcome to the rest of the world!)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Dec 23rd, 2021 at 02:41:54 PM EST
Certainly have appreciated the writings here @EuroTrib over the many years and have added some of Jerome a Paris to my hotlist.

Check this comment from 2005 ... the beginning of a fissure opening between NATO and Russia where energy would be used as leverage. Both Poland and the Ukraine were given keys to close the spigots and cut Russian gas flowing into "Old Europe".

The situation today feels as bad as the Arab oil crisis of 1973.

Re: All Quiet on the Western Front

Thanks for this diary, and welcome on eurotrib!

Ukraine is always a topic of interest to me, as I wrote my PhD dissertation in 1995 on the independence of Ukraine, and I have little to add on your description of the overall situation.

On the gas situation, I'll refer you to my recent front page stories on various pipelines, one of which was the Ukrainian gas situation:

3 Items of note on the topic of pipelines this morning

I don't think the Russians will manage to increase the price of gas shipped to Ukraine.

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 20th, 2005 at 01:14:47 PM PDT

Russian-Ukrainian gas deal - what's behind it?

Iraqi Oil - the $250bn gift to Saudi Arabia and Russia

Additional reading ...

Can Russia Really Solve Europe's Gas Woes on Its Own? | Carnegie Moscow - Oct.21, 2021 |

Russia's Gazprom controls gas transport to Europe, SE Asia and China

Supplier and customers are interdependent, Gazprom and Putin do want to be partner based on longterm contracts. Playing politics in US Congress and the White House produces a lot of noise and uncertainty. NATO's Stoltenberg and the US Commander should just shut up. The EU Commission in Brussels have taken a rumble seat.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 23rd, 2021 at 04:27:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AFAIK, Russia provides 40% of the NG Europe uses (100% for some countries and 1% for some) and 30% of the crude. So EU is pretty dependent and can't find replacement energy within a decade or so - if at all.

I don't see a war in Ukraine possible, unless Ukraine does something very, very stupid (which is always a possibility).

Russia has nothing to gain but a lot to loose in that conflict, while it does have some "red lines". Considering that Putin got USA administration talking about Minks Accords again, I would expect slow turn towards de-escalation in Ukraine.

On the other hand, if the "security co-operation" doesn't advance on a minimum pace Russia expects, there will be actions that put pressure on USA to come to the table. Not shooting was actions, but "freedom of navigation" passages in gulf of Mexico etc. A pair of Tu-160 doing patrols along the coast from Seattle to Los Angeles.

Short range nuclear missiles in Kaliningrad and Belarus. Sale of modern weapons to Iran. The list is endless, and Russia has total control of escalation and pressure at the moment. It would be much easier to actually sit down and negotiate with Russia than wait for the next move. And next. And next. But I guess the "collective West" is captured by it's own propaganda for now: "Putin understands only toughness", "Putin wants to recreate Soviet Union", "NATO doesn't threaten anyone" etc ad nauseam.

by pelgus on Thu Dec 23rd, 2021 at 04:57:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, but what does Putin actually want?
What he says he wants is a return to the military position of ... 1998.
That is a non-starter; the problem is that bad things happens in neighbours of Russia that do not have security guarantees from outside (Georgia; Moldova; Ukraine; non exhaustive list).

The idea that the Baltic states and Poland, for example, will choose to quit NATO because Putin wants them to, seems frankly a bit far-fetched.

So ... would he settle for de-facto annexation of the occupied part of Ukraine? Or what?  

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Dec 24th, 2021 at 12:00:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Return to diplomacy and partnership with NATO. No further expansion of NATO to border states of Russia. End stupid sanctions to cripple economies of sovereign nations for the sake of capitalism. Stop the bullying and adhere to International law, stop state terror. Stop extrajudicial killings, torture and support of dictatorial regimes for the sake of MIC. Learn lessons from past mistakes. Restart talks to limit nuclear weapons and stationing of missiles across Europe. Ban some idiots causing dysfunctioning of US Congress.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 24th, 2021 at 12:41:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the US viewpoint, if a nice little war in Ukraine causes Poland et al. to shut off their Russian gas agreements and buy from the US of A instead, that is ok. Because there will be absolutely no strings attached to any deal with the US. Just ask anybody!
by asdf on Fri Dec 24th, 2021 at 05:45:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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