Editorial

Europe followed suit and sanctioned Russia, but took it off for fun

Seetao 2022-05-25 14:03
  • Those in eastern Europe that are most reliant on Russian natural gas directly bear the consequences of sanctions against Russia
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10 Minutes

Since Russia launched a "special military operation" against Ukraine on February 24, 2022, together with the United States pushing Ukraine to confront Russia's Europe, in order to show support for Ukraine, not only with the United States imposed more economic sanctions on Russia , and is also determined to "get rid of" its dependence on Russian energy and turn to other countries such as the United States to buy more energy.

However, according to a report by Bloomberg in the United States, Europe has played itself off on this matter, and it may even further cause a tear within Europe!

According to Bloomberg's report, this is because although the United States and other major LNG exporters are transporting LNG to Europe to replace Russian natural gas by sea, these LNG shipped to ports in many Western European countries have not been able to be shipped at low cost. The price is shipped to those countries in eastern Europe that are most dependent on Russian natural gas and at the same time directly bear the consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

As a result, the price of natural gas has become polarized within Europe. In Western European countries such as the United Kingdom, their short-term natural gas prices have fallen sharply after experiencing a sharp rise in late February and early March when the Russian-Ukrainian conflict broke out. Transportation problems have made its prices several times higher than in Western Europe - even the prices of natural gas in the Netherlands and Germany are significantly higher than those in the United Kingdom, France and Spain.

In this regard, many professionals told Bloomberg that this is because Europe lacks the infrastructure that can “transport” these liquefied natural gas from west to east. Bloomberg also pointed out that even if Europe announces that it will use multiple floating LNG storage and regasification vessels (FSRUs) to deal with this dilemma, such floating LNG storage and regasification ships will only be available next winter at the earliest. deployment, and requires compatible infrastructure and a continuous supply of LNG to really make a difference. Landlocked countries in Eastern Europe like Hungary do not even have the conditions to use floating LNG storage and regasification vessels.

In addition, Bloomberg also pointed out a more serious question, that is, where does the natural gas used in Europe to replace Russia come from?

The U.S. is currently Europe's largest source of LNG, but the U.S. also needs to increase production to meet European demand. Bloomberg pointed out that these new capacity will not be ready until 2025 at the earliest, which means that Europe can only compete with other countries for a limited supply of liquefied natural gas, thereby driving up energy prices.

But a more deadly situation that Bloomberg failed to mention is that the increase in natural gas production in the United States is at the expense of the environment, and this cost is very huge. At a time when the problem of climate change is getting worse, the increase in US production is harmful to itself and even The sustainable development of the global environment is even worse. A number of Western environmental protection organizations and even some American media have also expressed concern about this prospect.

It is worth mentioning that at the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, European leaders had rhetoric that they would vigorously develop renewable and clean energy by taking the opportunity to reduce their dependence on Russian energy. But judging from the current actual situation, those rhetoric are more like "painting cakes".

Last week, the US Politico website found that Europe's greenhouse gas emissions in the fourth quarter of 2021 have exceeded emissions in any quarter since 2018, indicating that Europe is not moving forward in energy conservation and emission reduction. Greta Thunberg, Sweden's "environmentally friendly girl", also complained about this at the time, asking how Europe was so embarrassed to call herself a "leader in energy conservation and emission reduction"?

In March 2022, after US President Biden and European Commission President von der Leyen signed an agreement to increase the supply of natural gas to Europe, a German environmentalist was quite vivid in an interview with "Deutsche Welle" The parable says:

"We thought we could drive in a different car, but we ended up heading into the abyss." Editor / Xu Shengpeng

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