The controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, targeted by the sanctions of Berlin and Washington after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, is “dead” and cannot be “resurrected”. The American Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, Victoria Nuland, said in a hearing in the Senate. “I think Nord Stream 2 is now dead,” “and a large piece of metal at the bottom of the sea, and I don’t think it can be resurrected,” the US official said. .
Joe Biden raises the bar and after having ditched Nord Stream 2 exacerbates the energy war with Moscow by hitting “the main artery of the Russian economy to give another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine” against Ukraine. From the White House, wearing a tie with Ukrainian colors, the president announced an executive order banning the import of Russian oil, gas and coal into the US, as well as new direct or indirect American investments in that country’s energy sector, while all the majors have already retired (last is Shell). “Putin will not win, he will be able to conquer some cities but not an entire country”, the commander in chief warned, underlining that now, thanks to the shock wave of sanctions, the ruble “is worth less than a penny”.
A move emulated by London, which has committed to zero its gas and oil supplies from Russia by the end of 2022, while according to Japanese media Tokyo is also studying a similar measure.
Moscow responded immediately with the threat of retaliation: “In the event of an oil embargo, we have every right to make a corresponding decision and impose an embargo on pumping gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline”, thus cutting off the supply of gas. ‘Europe, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak warned. Then the Tsar has frozen everyone by signing a decree that mandates the government to draw up within two weeks a list of countries for which export and import movements of finished products and raw materials will be prohibited ”
“If Putin cuts the delivery of energy sources, Germany is prepared,” replied German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck. But this is precisely the scenario most feared by many European countries, primarily Italy and Germany. For this reason, even in the new package of sanctions against Moscow that the EU is developing there would be no Russian energy supplies.
After all, the European Union depends on Russia for 40% of its gas and 30% of its oil. For America – a net exporter of energy – the stop is instead a more symbolic gesture, even if it risks exacerbating inflationary pressures, with oil flying at 128.38 dollars a barrel and gasoline soaring at 4 , $ 17 a gallon, surpassing the 2008 records. Russian oil represents only 3% of total US crude oil imports in 2021. If other petroleum products are included, the Russian import share rises to 8%. Washington, on the other hand, does not import gas from Moscow. Great Britain, for its part, in 2021 bought Russian oil for 5.3 billion dollars, for a share equal to 13.4% of total oil imports.
For this Biden has tried to minimize the effects of a substantially unilateral move that seems to divide the Western front, however explaining that he had taken this decision in “close consultation” with allies and partners. “The United States is in a position to take this step for its strong domestic energy infrastructure and recognizes that not all of our allies and partners are now in a position to join us,” she stressed. “But we are united in working together to reduce our dependence on Russian energy and maintain increasing pressure on Putin, while taking steps to limit the impact on global energy markets and protect our economies,” he added, referring to the decision to draw on strategic oil reserves. ”
To cope with the decline in Russian oil on the world market, the president is confident not only in the increase in American domestic production but also in other allied countries such as Saudi Arabia and hostile countries such as Iran (with which he is negotiating the nuclear agreement) and Venezuela.
Initially hesitant over fears of further rising inflation looming over his presidency, Biden got ahead of Congress, where a bipartisan deal had already been reached on the Russian oil embargo. Congress which is also working to prevent Moscow from selling its gold reserves to circumvent sanctions and prevent the collapse of the Russian economy. REPRODUCTION RESERVED © Copyright ANSA
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