At present, the continuation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the sanctions imposed by the West on Russia have had a huge spillover effect, bringing multiple challenges to the world. In order to follow the pace of US sanctions, many European countries will restrict Russian energy as a sanctions weapon frequently. However, such sanctions have been “backlashed”.
Kver Laszlo, President of the Hungarian Parliament, said: “The EU can neither prevent the Russian-Ukrainian conflict from happening politically nor restore peace through diplomacy. The EU acts contrary to its own basic economic interests. No matter how the Russian-Ukrainian conflict ends, The EU has already lost.”
Today’s Russian TV commented that the sanctions against Russia in Europe not only did not weaken Russia, but hurt itself. According to Western media reports, the price of natural gas has risen by 85% compared with last year. In order to confront Russia’s sanctions against Russia, the EU has sacrificed its own economy and the interests of the people.
Russian media quoted netizens as saying: “Weakening the economic and political strength of the EU is one of the goals of the United States in this war. The US government does not want equal and powerful allies, they want submissive US proxies, like the present The same is true of EU member states. Wake up, EU, you have been fooled.”
In response, the outgoing Russian Permanent Representative to the EU, Vladimir Chirov, also warned: “The EU is in fact rapidly becoming a NATO economy. Attachment, the relationship between Russia and the EU will not go back to the way it was before.”
Recently, the European Union proposed a “price cap on Russian natural gas”. Putin issued a stark warning about this, saying that Europe would have “nothing”: no gas, no oil, no coal, no fuel oil, nothing. Putin also cited fairy tales to persuade the EU not to follow the example of the “wolf who fished with his tail and froze his tail”.
The EU is pushing for a solution to the current energy crisis facing Europe. At the EU member state representative meeting held on September 7, local time, European Commission President von der Leyen proposed five energy measures, including the “price cap on Russian natural gas” that had been discussed earlier.
Although von der Leyen said before announcing the measures that he “confessed in the unity of the EU”, the reactions of various countries showed a situation of “unbalanced people and difficult to lead the team”. For example, Germany has been “reluctant” in the “price limit” issue, so an EU diplomat pessimistically predicted that the outcome of the discussion would be “negative” before the meeting. The European edition of the “Politician” news network directly used the word “division” in the title to describe it, and described that “countries were largely taken aback by von der Leyen’s package of measures”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was visiting the Far East, issued a stern warning. Previously, the G7 had reached an agreement on the issue of “Russian oil price limit”, and now the EU has to limit the price of Russian gas. Putin warns that Europe will have “nothing”: no gas, no oil, no coal, no fuel oil, nothing. Putin also cited fairy tales to persuade the EU not to follow the example of the “wolf who fished with his tail and froze his tail”.
The views of EU member states are “divisive”
At the EU’s meeting on the 7th, von der Leyen first chanted solidarity, and then proposed five “immediate” measures: take mandatory measures to reduce electricity demand; Caps on revenue for companies that generate electricity, subsidizing these “windfall profits” to consumers; solidarity taxes on fossil fuel companies that make huge profits; and support for struggling utilities; and price caps on Russian gas.
Von der Leyen said “Russia is actively manipulating the energy market”, describing Russia as an “unreliable supplier”.
However, the European edition of the “Politician” news network reported that six EU diplomats revealed that the reaction of the member states that day was generally “split”. The most controversial measure is still the “price cap on Russian natural gas”, and some EU member states, led by Germany, are “embarrassed”.
Before the meeting, German officials had been arguing that the EU should focus on “less aggressive measures” to rein in energy prices, such as a windfall tax on excess energy profits. One of Germany’s main concerns is that restricting the price of Russian pipeline gas could trigger retaliation by Russia, leading to a complete cut off of gas supplies to the European Union, a situation that would hit many central European countries.
According to the report, on the day of the meeting, Germany also expressed its “skepticism” about the “price limit measures”. In addition, an EU diplomat revealed that Hungary, Slovakia and other countries are also opposed. “Countries have very conflicting views on this,” the EU diplomat said.
”Countries are largely kept in the dark.”
However, Poland, Italy and other countries have expressed their hope that the European Commission will impose price restrictions on all natural gas imported into the EU. Von der Leyen said the committee was “looking into” the matter, but the idea was far more complex than restricting Gazprom alone, and had received a lot of opposition so far.
Hungary also offered to hope that any energy plan would be unanimously agreed by all member states, rather than a majority vote using an emergency procedure as the committee wanted. Poland’s call to reform the emissions trading system, accusing it of driving up energy prices, has become “impossible” for Luxembourg, Ireland, Germany, Finland and Sweden, according to a senior EU diplomat.
The proposal to cut electricity demand has been welcomed by some countries. But Von der Leyen has called for mandatory cuts, and countries including Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece and Poland want such measures to be voluntary.
Finally, two of the other measures proposed by von der Leyen, supported by a majority of the European Commission and member states, are credits to struggling utilities and a solidarity tax on excess energy profits. Some EU diplomats said Von der Leyen’s eagerness to make the proposals public had left countries largely in the dark, and were only told before the meeting.
The West’s “economic blitzkrieg against Russia has failed.”
Regarding the “solution measures” proposed by von der Leyen, Putin delivered a speech at the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum on September 7, calling it “stupid”. Putin said, “This is another stupid act, another non-market decision with no future”, “If it goes against our interests, we will not supply anything at all.”
”These countries are not qualified to point fingers at us today… let them change their minds… We will not do anything that is imposed on us.” Putin then joked, “We only have one word to say, which is like As the famous Russian fairy tale says, ‘Freeze, freeze, wolf tail’.”
“Freeze, wolf tail” comes from the fairy tale “The Fox and the Wolf”, that is, under the instigation of the little fox, the big wolf uses Fishing on the ice caused the tail to freeze and eventually pull out its own tail.
Putin also said that compared with LNG transported across the ocean, Russian pipeline natural gas has strong competitiveness. Europe does not need Russian gas and will not affect Russia. The world’s energy demand is so great that Russian gas is sufficient to meet the needs of any country. The imposition of price caps on Russian natural gas is nothing but a “foolish act with no prospects.”
In addition, Putin rejected Western accusations that Russia was “weaponizing” energy, calling such claims “nonsense”. He said that although Russia was willing to restart the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline “tomorrow”, it was actually blocked. As for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Russia “just needs to push a button to start it.”
After the Russian-Ukrainian conflict broke out, some Western countries tried to impose sanctions on Russian energy, saying that the move would pinch Russia’s “economic artery”, but failed. On September 5, a Finnish think tank report showed that in the six months after the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Russia’s energy export revenue far exceeded the country’s “war expenditure”, and the EU was still the largest buyer of Russian energy.
On September 12, Putin convened a national economic conference, announcing that the Russian economy is gradually stabilizing and entering a growth track. At the same time, the Western “economic blitzkrieg” against Russia has failed. Putin said that the Russian economy has gradually stabilized after the imposition of large-scale sanctions in the West and has begun to enter a growth track. Citing data, he said that in April this year, Russia’s inflation rate reached a record 17.8%, but it had dropped to 14.1% on September 5, and is expected to continue to fall to around 12% by the end of this year. In addition, the contraction rate of the Russian economy has slowed to 4.3%, and the unemployment rate from May to July was also at a record low of 3.9%. Putin stressed that this shows that Russia is “confidently responding” to financial and technological aggression from some countries, and their “economic blitz” has failed.