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Thursday, May 26, 2022
HomeLatest NewsNATO expansion in the north and cut off of Russian gas supplies...

NATO expansion in the north and cut off of Russian gas supplies to the east confuse the Ukrainian crisis

bid Finland D Sweden join to NATO it changes the security horizon in northern Europe and the Arctic, predicts unpredictable Russian pressure on the Baltics, and pushes the possibility of negotiations to end the war in Ukraine a little further. Geostrategic and geo-economic problems that it generates Russian invasion their southern neighbor have ushered in a new stage of distrust, a buildup of arms and the risk of widening the current conflict towards Europe, and this opens irresistible split between the West and Russia it will mark the current decade in a very dangerous way.

Russia failed to stop NATO’s advance to its borders, which was one of the reasons for its invasion of Ukraine, and became bogged down in a conflict that could last much longer than the Kremlin had originally anticipated. The reduction in Russian gas supplies to Europe, which is taking place these days, tightens this rope even more, introduces great uncertainty into the geopolitical situation and ensures serious problems in the European Union until a source of hydrocarbon supplies is found that will replace Russia, but, above all, widen the gap with Moscow and ensure inexorable return to the Cold War with very hot spots on the old continent.

Finland’s message for accession “as soon as possible” to the North Atlantic Treaty, put forward by its President Sauli Niinistö and the Prime Minister, Sanna Marinand support for the accession of the official report of the Swedish Parliament debunk the idea that NATO is a relic from another time. It is also clear that with the Russian threat to take “retaliatory measures” and give a “military-technical response”, Moscow is ready to maintain its toughness in the European security theater. The Finnish-Swedish challenge is not without obstacles, and the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoganstated that his country does not welcome the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATObecause of the shelter that these two countries have traditionally provided to Kurdish militias. Turkey is the closest NATO country to Russiawhich adds more shadow to Scandinavian intentions.

Zelensky intends to put pressure on Europe so that it does not reduce the supply of weapons to Ukraine

To the new additions to NATO is added the loud call from Brussels to coordinate the “rearmament” of Europe and its coordination on all fronts. NATO led by the US is not enough and now the great Europeans i.e. Germany and France who claim the right to decide in military matters, ignoring the inevitable economic blow that this reorganization of the common defense will entail for the EU at a moment of great weakness after the covid pandemic and with the already materialized threat not receive Russian hydrocarbons. Energy that at this particular moment cannot be replaced in the short and possibly medium term, no matter how willing the United States is to sell its liquefied natural gas to Europe, a product of hydraulic fracturing, a mining method that is very aggressive towards the environment.

The latest step in the “energy war”, parallel to the war on the battlefield and in which Europe is at the forefront of the fire, was taken by Russia with the announcement shutting off gas flowing to Europe through Poland via the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline. The decision comes in response to European sanctions on Russia and comes after Ukraine also decided this week to stop the flow of gas through a passage in the east of the country that is in Russian-controlled territory.

A statement on this occasion was made by the President of Ukraine. Vladimir Zelensky, is intended to put pressure on Europe not to cut arms supplies to Ukraine, and is an angry response to the timid attempts by Germany and France to win back the negotiating table. Given that Russia has gained a foothold in the east of the country, the Kyiv government does not seem to have many expectations that the peace agreement does not go through the actual division of Ukraine and the loss not only of Donbass and Crimea, but also of most of its eastern coast.

The fact that Germany is already feeling the drop in the flow of Russian gas is not a good incentive to drag out the war with German heavy weapons.

However, the fact that Germany is already feeling a drop in the flow of Russian gas, and the prospect that tanks of this fuel will be empty before next winter (as will also happen in Poland and Bulgaria), this will not be a good incentive to continue the war with heavy German weapons destined for the Ukrainian army, but rather may support the position of those who advocate the need to negotiate and end the conflict as soon as possible.

CEO of a Spanish company Repsol, Josu John Imaz, He said this in Bilbao at a business meeting: at the moment, “the 150 billion cubic meters of gas that Europe receives from Russia cannot be replaced.” Imaz has made it clear that 40% of this fuel will not be covered any time soon. A gas war is already being served, not only to Germany and other Central European countries directly dependent on hydrocarbons, but to the entire continent, as suppliers such as Algeria move to meet other needs, not just Spanish ones. This is why negotiations are needed to stop the human slaughter in Ukraine and prevent economic collapse (and therefore social collapse) in the coming months across Europe. The numbers are clear: in 2021, 45% of the gas that Europe consumed was Russian and replacing it is not a matter of two days.

Washington, Moscow’s main adversary

However, the burden of returning to dialogue is not in the hands of Berlin or Paris. Washington is Moscow’s main adversary, and the Kremlin will not accept anyone else at the negotiating table. And the USA with their president Joe Biden at the helm, he has not abandoned his unconditional commitment to Ukraine because of its strategic importance and unfinished business in that country. For this reason, the United States has already provided about $40 billion worth of arms and aid to Ukraine, more than federal contributions to the global fight against climate change.

A possible union of Finland and Sweden with NATO could lead to a new expansion of the Atlantic.

Possible accession to NATO from Finland to Sweden does not pose for Russia the level of threat that Ukraine and Transcaucasia represented. Georgia in the Alliancebut it is still a serious concern that could lead to the deployment of Russian nuclear weapons around the Baltic Sea as a counterweight to the new expansion of the Atlantic and the likely installation of anti-missile systems in the territories of new members.

It is not only the security of the Baltic that is at stake. Russia has been betting on activation for many years trade through the ice-free passages of the Arctic Ocean in direct cooperation with Chinawhich sees this corridor as the shortest way to supply European markets with its technologies and products. Until now, hegemony in the Arctic has been with Russia, but the possible accession of Finland and Sweden changes the situation in the region. The melting of the Arctic, with the gradual reduction of polar sea ice due to global warming, has opened up new navigation routes, such as the so-called Northern Sea Route (NSR) controlled by China and Russia. It also prompted Moscow to develop a new security strategy for the area, with missile systems, radars, airports and ports all along the northern coast. In addition, it is believed that the Arctic has reserves of 90 billion barrels of oil and seven trillion cubic meters of natural gas. More than half of these oil fields and almost all gas reserves are located in Russia.

Neither Russia nor China will allow NATO expansion to the north to mean minimal risk for a deal that both countries consider vital. The transfer of Russian gas may eventually be redirected to Asia, once Europe gains the desired energy independence from Moscow, but commercial traffic from China to the West cannot be stopped and also pass through Russian territory, on land or along the coast of the Arctic In this sense, it is a mistake believe that the current prevailing view in the EU and in Washington that Russia seeks to corner Russia and turn that country into a rogue state will persist over time. As French President Emmanuel Macron once again pointed out about possible negotiations, peace “will not be achieved by denying or excluding anyone.”


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