Russia is continuing to withhold a free flow of natural gas to the EU, holding the flow down in order to elevate prices inflicted on the EU’s citizenry and to restrain Europe’s industrial capacity.
Gas prices have soared in Europe in recent months due to low inventories and a recovery in demand as the economy rebounds from the pandemic. The price surge has taken a toll on energy-intensive industrial activity while consumers face a steep rise in energy bills as the winter heating season begins.
Those prices are five times the level of just a year ago—before Biden surrendered to Putin on the Russia-sponsored hacker shutdown of Colonial Pipeline by unblocking the finishing of Russia’s Nordstream 2, which unblock also was in furtherance of Merkel’s demand for Russian natural gas via that cross-Baltic Sea pipeline.
Officials and analysts say that Moscow is using Europe’s energy crunch to gain geopolitical leverage.
Well, of course Putin is. He’s not an idiot.
In another sign that Russia isn’t about to significantly boost supplies to Europe, Ukraine’s gas transmission system said Sunday that it hasn’t received any additional requests from Gazprom and the gas transit remained below capacity.
This is the outcome of outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s and newly arrived American President Joe Biden’s (D) enthusiastically pursued energy policies coupled with Biden’s overt timidity in front of Putin. First, demonstrate Europe’s weakness. Only after that, exploit that weakness.
It stretches credulity beyond breaking to believe two such heavily intelligent people didn’t anticipate this.