Putin shoots himself in foot as Russia is ‘self-sanctioning’ with new EU energy blackmail

Russia is ‘self-sanctioning’ with new energy blackmail on EU

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin is threatening to double down on its energy blackmail on the European Union with the upcoming closure of Nord Stream 1 – a pipeline that feeds the bloc with gas – which is set to close from August 31 to September 2, energy giant Gazprom announced. As EU countries have been filling up their gas storage ahead of winter, European leaders are growing concerned the suspension could go beyond the September 2 deadline, leaving the EU without enough gas to go through winter. Dr Benjamin Schmitt, a former European Energy Security Advisor at the US Department of State, says repeated energy threats could ultimately backfire on Russia’s economy and energy revenues.

Dr Schmitt told Express.co.uk: “To a great extent, Russia is almost self-sanctioning itself right now with its cuts, right? You talk about a bluff and when it’s cutting Nord Stream 1 by 80 percent, that’s putting pressure on the EU but at the same time, the EU is as quickly as possible reorienting to that reality.

“And as time goes on, the EU will get to a point where it can and should end these projects for good. It should not give a pass to Putin’s Kremlin to continue these projects that have had a harmful impact in terms of exporting.”

Given its lack of clients outside the European market, Dr Schmitt noted “Russia does not really have many options” when it comes to its gas use. “If it’s cutting off its natural gas, it either has to flare it or start capping wells at the side of production. And that can damage the wells and make them less effective, less efficient down the road.”

For now, it appears Russian energy giant Gazprom has chosen to waste large volumes of gas by burning it near the Finnish border. Rystad, an energy consultancy based in Norway, estimates the amount of gas being burnt off equates to about 0.5 percent of daily EU needs.

“The quicker that the European Union takes steps that allow it to seek joint sanctions that end these projects for good, the better,” Dr Schmitt insisted.

With the EU diversifying away from Russian energy, Dr Schmitt says, Russia could lose revenues from the European market and hurt its own economy. In the long run, Russia could lose the totality of its energy revenues from the EU – reducing its capacity to fund its war chest.

“It’s going to take a long time structurally for Russia to ever pivot to other markets on the natural gas front,” Dr Schmitt said. “I think part of that is going to be to what extent does it have access to western technologies that it needs – energy technologies – to make that happen on a faster basis.”

“I think that’s going to be a slow go. Technologies and sanctions have been really effective thus far and are having an economic impact on the revenues that Putin is able to generate to fund its war machine but also on the physical components and subsystems that are building that same war machine.

“And that goes for the energy sector as well where Russia will be continually increasing isolated from the technologies that it needs to do every part of the energy value chain from upstream exploration to production to midstream advance of natural energy resources and then distribution.”

Dr Schmitt added that Russia will face an uphill battle to find new energy markets if it loses the European market.

Brexit travel: Brits to enjoy more time in EU without charge as major [REPORT] 
Sunak vows to snub EU blackmail and launch £15bn ‘better alternative’ [REPORT] 
Fury erupts at EU ‘dragging’ continent into continent into conflict [ANALYSIS] 

Russia is now exploring the Chinese market with a new pipeline project called Power of Siberia. The Russia-China pipeline could ship 38 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year when the pipeline is fully operational in 2025.

However, that pipeline would fall far short of the 200 bcm Russia used to send to Europe before the Ukraine war and fail to generate as much revenue.

The EU has so far successfully weaned itself off Russian gas, the EU’s Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said, with only 20 percent of Russian gas imports now against 75 percent in 2020, according to Eurostat.

Russian visa ban ‘not a good idea’
Italian voters doomed despite far-right projected win at next election
Remainer Stanley Johnson calls for UK to form ‘new union’ with Europe
Stark Sturgeon warning as Lord Frost says SNP could humiliate union
Sturgeon slapped down as Lord Frost demands ’embassy’ closures

Source: Read Full Article