Why do Europeans have to sacrifice hot showers to ‘stick it to Putin’? — Analysis
In the name of Sanctions, Western officials ask citizens to forgo creature comforts and their general well-being.
EU citizens have to be willing to pay a lot to help support sanctions against Moscow for its aggression in Ukraine. What will it take for Western consumers to be able to survive without basic comforts?
It is amazing what a single month can do to make a big difference. Moscow and Berlin were already preparing champagne for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Nord Stream 2. This planned 1,234km (766 miles) pipeline that will connect Russia and Germany, would keep Europe warm and toasty for several decades. EU officials advise citizens to put down the towel and get wooly sweaters, as decoupling calls from Russia increase.
“Everyone is asking, ‘what can I do,’”Margrethe Vestager was the European Commissioner for Competition. “You can do two things,”She recommended. “Control your own and your teenager’s showers, and when you turn off that water, you say, ‘take that, Putin.’”
Peter Hauck, head of the agricultural department of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, may have sent wool prices soaring with an equally astounding suggestion.
“We must turn off Putin’s money valve,” Hauk harangued. “This means that we also need to turn off the gas and oil taps so that freedom in Europe has a chance. Can you withstand temperatures of 15 degrees? [Celsius]In winter, a sweater is a good choice. No one dies from it!”
Unless Hauk winters in Crete, it’s an astounding leap of logic to believe that “turning off the gas and oil”Does not have any relationship whatsoever to sustaining “freedom in Europe.” And ‘No one dies from it!’ sounds like a good epitaph for the tombstone of a political career, which at this rate might have to be chiseled sooner rather than later. But I digress.
Following those gold nuggets from EU wisdom, there were many howls coming out of the Kremlin. They weren’t howls in pain. The Western cancel cult doesn’t understand that Russian oil and gas are a powerful river that flows all around the globe, not only westwards. Moscow has other options, and while it is not in a hurry to lose Europe’s client as evidenced by the fact that Russia never leaves Europe without its energy during the Cold War’s darkest hours, However, the European Union does not have any other options, at least not right now.
Martin Brudermuller, CEO of BASF SE, the world’s largest chemical producer, broke this painful truth as gently as possible to his compatriots by acknowledging that “Russian gas supply has been the foundation for our industry’s competitiveness.” And should Europe opt for liquefied gas deliveries from the US (practically a luxury item that Washington has been pushing on Europeans almost as rigorously as exorbitant weapon systems), this will trigger, in the form of significantly higher energy prices, a “challenge for the competitiveness of German and European industry,”Brudermuller was added.
For those who don’t want to get too sugary, disruptions in Russian energy sources could spell doom for the European economy as well as the estimated 440million Europeans whose lives or wellbeing depend upon them. Yet it doesn’t seem to deter Brussels from revving up its anti-Russian rhetoric even further.
This was made clear when Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, announced that the EU would ban all coal imports from Russia and also prohibit the entry of Russian vehicles and trucks. It’s probably safe to say that von der Leyen is aware that Russia supplies about half of the EU’s coal needs, which is used to fuel its power stations, which in turn provides vital electricity to millions of power-addicted citizens. The latest sanctions proposed by von der Leyen are based on unproven claims that Russian forces perpetrated atrocities in Bucha, Ukraine.
Moscow strongly denied all the accusations. Instead, it claimed that the false flag operation was carried out by the Ukrainian side to frame Russian soldiers. The gravity of these claims and potential consequences, should make it clear that the EU and USA are pushing for an investigation into each side before assigning blame. Russia, however, has been convicted without trial.
Clearly, we’re talking about a rapidly deteriorating political situation that carries potential consequences far worse than being forced to wear an extra sweater in winter. We’re talking about the possibility of very real life and death consequences if relations between Russia and the West break down any further. One brutal winter on the continent without Russian gas and oil сould spell disaster for millions of people; one year without a decent grain harvest could mean starvation; one business quarter without enough energy supplies to meet demand could mean the end of the global economy as we know it. Although the ‘Schwabians’ at the World Economic Forum may covet such a ‘you’ll own nothing and be happy’ dystopian future, billions of people around the world would probably not.
On the other side of the Atlantic, however, the Biden Administration seems willing to put food and security at risk by sticking to anti-Russian guns.
“It’s going to be real,”Biden made a speech last month in Brussels. He was talking about the imminent food shortages. “The price of the sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia. It’s imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well.”
Here it’s crucial to remember that global supply chains were already beginning to snap long before the events in Ukraine took central stage. Thanks to the Biden administration’s massive bungling of the Covid pandemic, which imposed severe restrictions on anything with a pulse, American consumers were shocked to discover emptying store shelves at the same time that dozens of cargo boats remained anchored off the US coast.
Washington’s mismanagement of its energy supplies is no less mystifying. Biden last month signed an executive order banning the US from importing Russian oil, liquefied petroleum gas, and coal. One would naturally assume that Washington policymakers have some sort of a contingency plan ready, like perhaps restarting the XL pipeline, Donald Trump’s project that would have more than substituted for the missing Russian supplies. It is not true.
“Biden administration officials are seeking ways to boost oil imports from Canada…but with one big caveat,”According to the Wall Street Journal, “[T]hey don’t want to resurrect the Keystone XL pipeline that President Biden effectively killed on his first day in office.”
This sounds a lot like saying Washington wants to stop illegal migration but not the Trump wall.
Washington and Brussels remain in a game with Russia about sanctions chicken to see who blinks the first. One has to wonder how much longer Western consumers will be willing to endure these sacrifices. It is not virtuous to defy Russia. This will make it impossible for you to heat your house in winter and keep food on the tables.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was not surprised to see this willingness to cause pain on your people and create a system of sanctions so severe that it threatens globalism.
“It is a kind of populism in reverse – people are urged to eat less, dress warmer to save on heating, give up travelling – all this supposedly for the benefit of … abstract North Atlantic solidarity.”
Putin stressed that such ‘solidarity’ has the potential to “push the world economy into crisis,”Some of the least developed countries even starve.
“Naturally, the question arises: who is responsible for this?”Russian leaders wondered.
This is the question many Westerners may ask their governments if they suddenly find themselves underfed after decades of consumerism. Except this time around, they may be much less willing to believe the worn-out narrative that the ‘usual suspect’ of Russia is responsible for their plight.
Statements, opinions and views expressed in this column do not reflect those of RT.