It is impossible to read the relations between Russia and the main countries of the European Union – including Italy – if one does not take into account the last strategic mistake since 2014, Moscow embarked on aannexation of Crimea.
Without this passage, it is impossible to understand why there is a deep concern today in Berlin, in Rome, and partly in Paris, and thus also in Brussels, at the idea of a A firm response to the violation of international law of these hours.
Reliance on Russian gas
What happened – in short – that Europe is becoming increasingly dependent on Russian gas After the Ukrainian crisis in 2014, I demonstrated how fragile this situation was for us. Therefore, it is not difficult today to glimpse in the first European reaction to the developments of these hours the hesitation of the main European advisories in the face of escalation.
As Predefined by Courier service Several times from January 27 (Read: US sanctions on Russia ready. The European Union will have to adapt And the What happens if war breaks out between Ukraine and Russia?), the aggression against Ukraine organized by the Kremlin took its most subtle form: sending an alleged Russian peacekeeping force to secure the declaration of independence with which Moscow also maneuvered in the two eastern provinces Luhansk and Donetsk (i.e. the Don Basin, or Donbass).
Putin’s hybrid war and the split of the European Union and the United States
This form of Hybrid War Wanted by Russian President Vladimir Putin with the aim of separating Europeans from Americans and Europeans internally over the severity of sanctions.
And the European Union has excellent reasons, not necessarily shared but understandable, to be divided over sanctions: especially in Germany and Italy fear retaliation over natural gas supplies.
Whereas, in fact, European dependence on Russian methane has increased since 2014 Moscow openly revealed itself as an unreliable resource after the first Ukraine crisis. In 2014, the European Union imported 30% of its natural gas needs from Russia – according to Eurostat – while the share has risen to 35% in recent years. In 2018, 40% of EU imports of natural gas from third countries came from Russia – again according to Eurostat – but the infection rate rose to 43.9% in 2020 and up to 46.8% in the first half of 2021. Data for Italy generally Large in line with the European average.
Europe, Italy and the Kremlin’s energy policy
In other words, while Putin has proven to be an increasingly unreliable partner for geopolitical and strategic reasons, we Italians and Europeans have increasingly placed ourselves in his hands for the sake of our economic well-being.
Now Europe and Italy are paying the price for this fundamental error, which has been exacerbated by events emerging from the worst phases of the pandemic. The increase in consumption and investment in 2021 and other factors contributed to a four- or five-fold doubling of the price of natural gas in Europe in the second half of last year.
In other words, Russia found itself in a position to score more than enough sales even by cutting supplies. and I did: Data from Gazprom, the public monopoly of Moscow, shows that on a typical December or January day between 2017 and 2019, about 240 million cubic meters of gas pipelines to Italy (through Ukraine, Slovakia and Austria) were also laid per day.
Quantities decreased to 100 million cubic meters per day last December and 53 million cubic meters per day in January. There was only a slight increase in supplies in February. By doing so, Putin achieved the effect of increasing methane prices further and generating greater insecurity in Europe..
Oil money for Russia
Meanwhile, we Italians and Europeans continue to ship about $200 million per day of oil to Russia, of which Moscow remains the only major supplier to the Union with a market share of about 25%.
In other words, the pro stake, Our money is funding the Russian war effort in Ukraine right now. These are the European and Italian mistakes from 2014 to today that make the governments of the Old Continent so reluctant to confront Russia’s coercion of Donbass.
Meanwhile, at the opening today, the price of natural gas in Europe rose 7.5% in a few minutes. That of Brent oil at 2.9%.
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