To Europe, Stupidity Is Not a Vice
How Western sanctions provided Russia with a surplus, and "robbed" Europe.
The successes of the Russian troops in the special operation are becoming more and more obvious to the leadership of Western countries, Viktor Bondarev, head of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, said in his Telegram channel. It's time for the US authorities to stop supporting Ukraine with weapons and money, Ross Douthat wrote in The New York Times.
This newspaper is an ardent supporter of the "victory" of Ukraine and the harsh "punishment" of Russia. The New York Times has previously recognized the failure of the goals of the current US administration in the conflict with Russia. She noted that it is impossible to return the liberated territories, as well as Crimea, under the control of Kyiv. Today, the Americans have questions about assistance to the Zelensky regime in the amount of $40 billion, the correspondent of The Moscow Post reports.
The support provided by the main American media of the Democratic Party and the administration led by President Joe Biden is melting. The Washington Post added sharpness to the questions posed by The New York Times. David Ignatius's article also questioned the reliability of the US allies, namely the countries of continental Europe. The author claims that the successes of the Russian Armed Forces, the forces of Lugansk and Donetsk cause uncertainty and even panic among the leadership of a number of NATO countries.
The next round of escalation in relations between Russia and the West is closely watched by those countries that did not support the sanctions. The Chinese edition of the Global Times believes that the restrictions "adopted on emotions" have reached their limit and harm their initiators. Europe begins to understand that confrontation infringes on the economic interests of both individual countries and key sectors of the EU economy.
Behind the "gas station" they missed the power
As you know, the Biden administration considers the creation of a "united" anti-Russian front the main achievement of its first year in power. The slogans under which this coalition was assembled reflect the mentality of negativity and hatred towards Russia. Remember when Barack Obama said that the Russian economy was "torn to shreds." Vladimir Putin is to blame for the policy of the "gas station country," some senators added.
However, the "gas station" not only successfully works, but without its participation there is not a single significant event in the world. And no matter how we are called, we should not only be counted, but before taking any step, look around, and what Russia will do in response.
Biden himself assured that the "hellish sanctions" would force Moscow to "answer" for everything. Today, more than ten thousand restrictions have accumulated in the sanctions "suitcase," and Moscow has begun to revise some key components of Russia's economic course. What is being formed before our eyes can be conventionally called the policy of "open self-sufficiency and freedom of entrepreneurship." But the matter is not limited to the economy, and the confrontation between Russia and the West on sanctions does not end.
"Everything that does not kill us makes us stronger," the head of the State Duma Volodin wrote in the Telegram channel. It was Europe that really tried to "kill" Russia over the past hundred years. And now again, already with the participation and led by the United States?
The US leadership promised to unite the whole world and threatened Russia with complete isolation in connection with its actions in Ukraine, writes The Hill. Data from surveys conducted by the Associated Press and the Center for Sociological Research at the University of Chicago indicate that in March, more than 60% of respondents spoke in favor of the United States "playing a significant role in Ukraine." By mid-May, this figure had dropped to 45%.
The G20 meeting in Washington during an online speech by representatives of the Russian delegation, headed by Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, was left by representatives of Great Britain, the United States and Canada. Among the 130 countries that refused to join the sanctions regime were China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, most of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Misters of "izolyanta"
"The fact that showed us the Ukrainian crisis — an alarming sign for the present and especially for the future. Russia is isolated from the West, but the West is isolated from the rest of the world", - the former prime minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi said. The West not only is isolated, but also injured by the events.
Qualification of bureaucracy and the highest bureaucrats of the European Union who didn't learn to count plainly yet is at stake and to estimate details of costs of the aggressive refusal of conditionally partner economic relations with Russia. Speeches of the head of European Commission Ursula von der Leien on pricing of oil, or the chief diplomat of the EU Zhozep Borel on problems of release of the Ukrainian granaries by means of grain export, don't cause anything, except surprise.
There is "Ukrainization" of Europe. Illusions of fight against Moscow cover problems of saving habitual standards of consumption and comfort. London continues to urge "to win" against Russia in Ukraine. Warsaw intends "to cancel" the Russian culture and passed to occupation of the Ukrainian territories as the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolay Patrushev said. He added that he "the actions conducting to real disintegration of the country doesn't concern neither the head of state, nor especially the USA and their allies".
And concerns them with NATO, according to the press service of the president of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda, leaders of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in Vilnius have to meet on June 7 the chancellor Olaf Sholts. Will discuss plans of participation of Germany in strengthening of east flank of NATO. Since 2017, summary battalions of the advanced basing of alliance are deployed in these three countries and Poland. In Lithuania Germany orders division. In April the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Annalena Berbok said that Germany is ready to increase presence to crew number.
Reacting to Olaf Sholts's statement that "Germany will have the biggest usual army in Europe within NATO soon", the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told that words about Germany as to "the main military force of the EU" demonstrate revival in Germany of "prepotent aspirations".
"The activity developed by Berlin in the last several weeks impresses with the scales: sending the ships to the Baltic and Mediterranean seas, installation of the anti-aircraft missiles Patriot in several countries of Central Europe, the introduction of the German military to overland battalion in Slovakia, sending a reinforcement to Lithuania and the Eurofighter fighters to Romania", - the French newspaper Le Monde diplomatique noted. It will be interesting to look at the relation of Washington to plans of Germany for rearmament.
Eurosanctions with surplus for Russia
The Russian budget in connection with oil sanctions restrictions of the European Union has no losses, Moscow increases sales of oil in the alternative markets and in 2022 will significantly increase profit on export of energy carriers. It was said by the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. In March-April the supply of fuel to the EU brought 47 billion dollars, or it is twice more, than during this time last year.
According to the International Energy Agency, since the beginning of year Russia sells to oil and oil products for about 20 billion dollars a month. In March-April, sales of oil and oil products to Europe made about 44 billion dollars. On fuel export as considers Bloomberg, Russia can this year at the current prices earn more than 285 billion dollars. It can exceed export income of 2021 for 20%.
By the beginning of June the trade surplus of Russia was estimated at 96 billion dollars. The federal budget for the first four months 2022 is executed with surplus of 2.7 trillion rub. Control of capital flow and trade balance strengthened ruble. For January-April, 2022 the federal budget received 4.772 trillion rubles from the oil and gas industry that is 1.9 times more, than the previous year.
With the world on oil, with a cap in hand
Germany expresses in favor of the entry of Ukraine into the EU, but not on the simplified procedure. Austria is skeptic, France and Hungary – especially. "We can't do any discounts", - Berbok to displeasure of Kiev told.
The unity of the European Union begins to be scattered also for the economic reasons. Hungary and Slovakia, Germany and Italy continue to import the Russian oil, despite indications of Brussels to observe an embargo. Even partial embargo of the EU on import of oil will be a shake-up, it is necessary to buy oil products from far suppliers, to recustomize oil refinery or/and to look for the oil similar to the Russian.
France is in talks with the UAE to replace Russian oil. In the meantime, Bulgaria and Croatia receive temporary exceptions to the EU ban on offshore supplies of oil and oil products from Russia. The process of switching European refineries to other types of oil will require significant investment and may stretch for years. Saxony Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer said that Germany does not need to hastily abandon Russian energy resources, before that it should ensure energy security.
The United States can replace Russia in Europe's energy supply, and the EU also hopes for American and other sources of hydrocarbons. Everything rests on prices in the case of gas and logistics of supplies. According to The Financial Times, the cost of freight tankers to transport liquefied natural gas reached a 10-year high, prices for gas for liquefaction in the United States increased by two and a half, almost three times.
According to Welt am Sonntag, retaliatory Russian sanctions imposed on May 11 against Gazprom Germania and its subsidiaries under its management could cost German gas consumers 5 billion euros a year. These companies were part of the structure of Gazprom, which stopped participating in them on April 1. Minister of Economy and Climate Protection Robert Habek said that Gazprom's former subsidiaries no longer receive gas from Russia. Europe will be forced to overpay for fuel imports. It is necessary to finance the transition to new grades of oil.
Under the new conditions, Gazprom may not be in a hurry to fill European gas storage facilities, supporting favorable gas prices. The Ministry of Energy of Russia in the draft comprehensive program for the development of hydrogen energy until 2030 worsened the forecast for the export of hydrogen to Europe. The benchmark for the export potential of hydrogen is almost halved - from 9.5 million to 4.5 million tons, Germany, Japan and South Korea are excluded from the list of main importers. The sales market can shrink to 1.4 million tons per year, all for China.
Economy in the "toilet"
The economic war and political blockade declared by Russia are causing cracks in the Western coalition. The ideology of countering Russia stumbled upon economic realities. The West entered a period of slow economic growth and inflation. Its annual level in the USA and Great Britain reached almost 9%, in the main EU countries the indicator is slightly lower, in the Baltic countries higher. Central banks are raising interest rates. According to polls, Americans give priority to the restoration of their economy, price control, rehabilitation of the "American dream."
Anti-Russian sanctions did not work, but give the opposite effect, writes the Guardian. The United States and Europe are failing in an economic war that did not go according to the Western plan. Europe is facing inflation, the risks of a social crisis have grown, and the weakening of the financial system threatens instability. The energy crisis, intensified by the embargo, adds urgency to the problem of global food shortages.
The West's ability to regulate global processes is degrading. Wheat supplies from Ukrainian Black Sea ports are blocked by mines supplied by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. International organizations such as the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO and the UN predict a humanitarian catastrophe. Of those developing countries that do not export hydrocarbons, fuel, food and financial crises are at risk.
JP Morgan Chase bank governor Jamie Dimon warned the U.S. expects an economic hurricane. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he has a "super bad feeling" about the impending recession. Companies are lowering their profit forecasts. America is experiencing energy and inflation crises, shares of leading companies are gradually selling off, US stock indices closed the week with a fall.
Just months before the midterm congressional elections, both Joe Biden personally and his administration and the Democratic Party are bankrupt. Dreams of a second term in the White House Democrats will have to postpone.
For an arrogant strategy of force pressure on the verge of aggression, Europe and the United States will have to, using Washington terminology, "pay" not only for political losses, but for victims in the economy, security problems.
According to CNN, the United States economy may be already in the toilet and "it remains only to pray that no one presses the flush button."