On the way to a new tightening of sanctions? In addition to the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis is still the focus of negotiations in Europe and Russia. This Monday, May 2nd, European Union energy ministers are meeting again in Brussels for an extraordinary meeting to examine the means of dealing with the blackmail of Vladimir Putin.
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In fact, since the beginning of April, the Russian President has been demanding that Russian gas be paid for in rubles instead of euros. Otherwise, the Kremlin threatens to turn off the tap. After all, by shutting off the gas supply to Poland and Bulgaria, Valdimir Putin has upped the ante, like a poker player betting on the dependence of certain countries, such as Germany or Austria, on Russian imports.
For Thomas Pellerin-Cardin, director of the Jacques Delors Institute Energy Center, European countries will have no choice but to anticipate the end of Russian gas: “Who is next on the list after Poland, after Bulgaria? Will it be Germany? Will it be France or Italy? And so we Europeans must prepare to pretend that this embargo is inevitable, in order to be prepared for the day when Putin actually turns off the gas. The day we will decide to no longer depend on Russian gas to fund the war that Vladimir Putin is waging in Ukraine.“
Meanwhile, some European companies would pay for their imports of Russian gas in euros before being converted into rubles by energy giant Gazprom, Thomas Pellerin Cardin continues.
“There is a desire to continue buying Russian gas at any price from several European companies that import gas. Germany is no exception. The Austrians and the French probably not. At this time it is not known which companies will pay for this gas in rubles. The only one who knows is Putin. It’s not the European Commission, it’s not the President of the French Republic.”
With this, the Kremlin master hopes to keep the gas trump card against the Europeans for as long as possible. Ahead of the meeting scheduled for Monday in Brussels, European sources quoted by AFP warn that the European Union is finalizing a phased phasing out of its purchases of oil and petroleum products from Russia to sanction the war in Ukraine and could announce a calendar this week and new measures
Sunday the giant This was also announced by GazpromRussian gas shipments to EU countries and Turkey fell sharply between January and April compared to the same period in 2021, while those to China soared, up 60% year-on-year via the Power of Siberia pipeline.