In 2018, President Trump told European and German leaders they were relying too much on Russian energy.
He told them they should take immediate steps to become more energy independent. Trump said they should stop relying on Moscow and Vladimir Putin to power their industries, heat their homes, and run their affairs.
Germans literally laughed at Trump; other European leaders tittered over how simplistic he was being.
Trump turned out to be right. Now, the EU is finding out just how right he was, with Putin saying he will end any and all energy going to the EU. The reason is the EU’s support of Ukraine in the Russia-Ukraine war and the steps they are taking against Russia.
Europe’s energy has already been under threat for a long time now. Most recently, Russia has been accused of flaring off millions of dollars of natural gas per day near the Finnish border.
The Russians claim the massive Nord Stream 1 pipeline is having technical problems and this is why it had to be shut down for now. Though witnesses have seen huge amounts of flaring going on.
Now, Putin says all energy going into the EU including coal, heating oil, gas, and refined oil will stop. He said Europe can “freeze” for all he cares.
The immediate motive for this move is the EU is trying to put price caps on Russia’s energy, which would basically force the price down and rob Russia of millions. In response, Russia is saying they will simply end all their energy to the EU.
So far, this appears to be mainly saber rattling, but with Nord Stream 1 already glitching, how serious is Putin about this?
"Russia is manipulating our energy markets and we are confronted with astronomic prices," says European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
She's announced today five "immediate" the EU could take to tackle the energy crisis.
— POLITICOEurope (@POLITICOEurope) September 7, 2022
Putin is Very Serious
Referring to Russia’s “interests,” Putin said publicly the EU will “freeze” and receive absolutely nothing from Russia if they don’t shape up and stop threatening their profits.
The EU is already talking about having to parcel out energy and control how much people use this winter. Germany especially backed itself into a dark corner by playing nice with Russia on energy and getting completely dependent on them.
It’s clear the prospect of western price caps on Russian oil, even if it’s only a threat, for now, sent Putin into a tizzy.
“The biggest blow to Putin’s war machine would be energy independence by Europe.
The day you achieve that he becomes a shell of his former self.
… We are not afraid of Putin’s decisions”
— Paolo Gentiloni, the EU’s economics commissioner#StandWithUkraine
— Alex Raufoglu (@ralakbar) September 3, 2022
The Bottom Line
EU President Ursula von der Leyen said Russia is “manipulating” the EU. She and her council are going to try to get people to use less energy and pressure companies to put out cheaper energy.
She even has the gall to call it a “solidarity contribution” in oil and gas companies to lower prices since they’ve already made “massive profits.”
Let’s be honest: this all sounds like scrambling in panic and no real solution. It sounds like the EU paying the price for ignoring reality.