Who will pay the price of the “G7” sanctions against the Russian energy sector?

Moscow- The declaration of a group of states came The big seven In its joint statement at the conclusion of its work in Hiroshima, Japan, on “the need to accelerate the gradual elimination of dependence on Russian energy,” consistent with the readings of most Russian observers that anticipated the top She said that the energy file is a “grabber egg” in any step that the Western system can take in the series of ongoing sanctions against Moscow.

A few days before the launch of the summit, it was revealed that the European Union and the Group of Seven plan to ban the import of gas through pipelines from Russia through those corridors through which Moscow itself has reduced supplies.

In addition to the previous measures, the G7 countries announced that they would impose sanctions on all exports “that Russia uses to rebuild its military equipment.”

The new restrictions focused mainly on removing all the loopholes that allowed Moscow to bypass the imposed sanctions, which was clearly evident during the preparation of the eleventh package of sanctions, and was translated by the summit statement in the transition to applying measures “extraterritorially”, that is, against third countries that help Moscow in the “process.” This drop is widespread.

As a measure aimed at further reducing dependence on Russian energy sources, the summit statement stressed the need to strengthen financial investments in the field of liquefied natural gas and increase the use of nuclear energy, which it considered measures that could be beneficial in this direction.

The G7 countries announced that they would impose sanctions on exports that Russia uses in its military equipment (Getty Images)

double-edged sword

Russian observers believe that the aftermath of the new decisions at the Hiroshima summit will not be the same as before, and they stressed that the new decisions came as a “half blow” to the Russian energy sector, but the repercussions of the decision will be tangible and will also affect the economy of European countries, albeit in varying forms.

Some of them mock the “11 package” of sanctions that were included in the Hiroshima statement regarding stopping dependence on Russian energy sources, and recall that these promises were made in May of last year, whether by giving up Russian coal in the summer, or About Russian oil in the fall, or about Russian gas by the end of last year.

The economist Victor Lachon explains to Al Jazeera Net that the “Hiroshima decisions” came – despite their hostile accent – carefully calculated and studied, as they maintained a precise line of return with Russia, as appears from the text of the resolution that linked – albeit indirectly – between continuing to “suffocate” Russian oil and gas pipelines and the end of the war in Ukraine.

According to him, the decisions of the summit are a purely political measure that cannot cause the Russian economy the damage that the West seeks on the one hand, and at the same time take into account the interests of European customers who are still importing both gas and liquefied natural gas from Russia.

Sanctions “fail”.

Therefore, if this amount of gas stops flowing to Europe, there is a high probability that natural gas prices will rise in the European market, according to Lachon.

In parallel, the same speaker indicates that the Group of Seven wants to put an end to the issue of “evading” restrictions on the gas and oil sectors in Russia, as it restricts the latter’s access to the international financial system, and prevents the use of branches of Russian banks in third countries to circumvent sanctions, which is what It could have side effects on oil and gas sales revenues.

For his part, the writer on energy affairs, Alexander Safarov, points out that the agreement of the “seven major” countries at the Hiroshima summit to impose new sanctions on Russia does not mean the existence of complete unity among these allies, and he believes that this is evident in the rejection of Washington’s proposal to impose a comprehensive ban on Russian exports, explaining that a number of European countries prefer to “work closely” with Moscow.

In addition to belittling the recent decisions of the Group of Seven, Safarov considers that “the West lacks the courage to admit the failure of sanctions against Russia, as well as the recognition of a number of European observers of their ineffectiveness.”

energy bondage

In his opinion, the West – and for political considerations – made a big mistake by stopping buying energy materials from Russia, which will, over time, bring its countries into stronger “slavery” by purchasing them at high prices.

He adds that those who stopped buying Russian gas directly will have to buy it through intermediaries, but at a higher price. He added that the West, through the new sanctions and the previous ones, “came closer to the dream of abandoning dependence on Russian energy sources, but in reality it came close to completely eliminating the Europeans’ guarantee of well-being and harming their standard of living.”

Safarov points out that the suspension of Russian gas supplies constituted – in contrast to statements by officials of the European Union and the United States – a real economic catastrophe for European countries, recalling in this context the statements of French Member of Parliament Thierry Mariani, who said that the European Union has become more dependent on “inappropriate partners.” Like the United States, which sells its liquefied natural gas at an exorbitant price.

And he concludes that the new restrictions will not have a serious impact on the energy sector in Russia, because the “gradual” blocking of Russian pipelines in certain regions will be symbolic, while the highest level of damage that could be reached was the punitive measures that were adopted during the year 2022 and did not reach it. to its destination, as he put it.

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