Let the people pay: How EU leaders make their citizens suffer the fallout
from their failed Russia policy
By: Rachel Marsden
Western leaders accuse Russia of 'weaponising' gas - but, in reality, it's their own sanctions which have caused this crisis The West can easily end its energy crisis by lifting sanctions it imposed on Russia
In a Bastille Day interview, French President Emmanuel Macron told citizens to “prepare ourselves for a scenario where we have to do without Russian gas entirely.” At the same time, Macron accused Moscow of using the fuel as a “weapon of war,” echoing the spin emanating from a European Union leadership that obscures the real reason the bloc is facing an energy shortage that’s driving up the cost of living.
This crisis is entirely self-inflicted.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen accused Russia of energy
“blackmail” at the end of April, citing the state-owned Gazprom’s announcement
of a halt in gas deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria for failing to pay for in
rubles. What von der Leyen – and now Macron – conveniently omitted was that it
was the EU’s own anti-Russian sanctions, adopted in a knee-jerk and
ideologically-driven fashion at the outset of the Ukraine conflict, that
represent the root cause of these disruptions.
The West quickly adopted a strategy of targeting and sanctioning various
aspects of the Russian financial system, including banks and foreign reserves,
cutting it off from the SWIFT global transaction system – and then had the gall
to complain that Moscow was asking for payment for its gas exports in its own
currency to mitigate the hassle of navigating a system from which it was
effectively blocked. “Export your gas but good luck trying to get paid,” is
hardly a reasonable expectation.
It wasn’t Russian President Vladimir Putin who called on the EU to cut off
Russian gas. Rather, it was his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky, who has
constantly pushed for ever more Western sanctions on Russian fossil fuels. And
the West has only been to happy to recklessly indulge him to the detriment of
their own citizens.
Earlier this month, Zelensky even admonished Canada for agreeing to return repaired turbines for reintegration into the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline that provides gas to Germany, and demanded that Ottawa reverse its decision. Canada had earlier faced the dilemma of violating the West’s own anti-Russian sanctions by virtue of even returning the critical parts – even though the pipeline is so vital to EU industry that the bloc's leaders have even been freaking out about its scheduled maintenance shutdown.
Why would you be so worried about Russia failing to turn the tap back on when
you’ve been saying repeatedly that you’ll gladly do without it “for Ukraine.”
But even in defending the return of the turbines, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cited the same ridiculous Western establishment propaganda of Russia’s “weaponization” of gas, when in reality it’s the West’s own sanctions that have wreaked energy havoc and caused all this drama.
“We have seen Russia consistently trying to weaponize energy as a way of
creating division amongst the allies,” Trudeau said. So if Canada doesn’t
violate its own sanctions and return the turbines to Germany, then Putin wins.
The Olympic level rhetorical gymnastics required by Western leaders to justify
violating their own failed sanctions are second only to their recent defense of
firing up coal plants again, and redefining fossil fuel energy as “green,” amid
the current shortages.
EU leaders are calling for an end to Russian energy imports, citing their
decision to sanction their own gas supply as a reason to expedite a transition
to unproven renewables. But rather than take responsibility for the fact that
they set fire to their sails and are now stranded in the middle of the ocean
while awaiting the manifestation of their renewable energy transition fantasy,
they’re blaming Russia for their own shortsightedness and trying to spin it as a
withholding of energy orchestrated by Moscow.
Russia is only too happy to sell its fuel to whomever wants to buy it. And if the EU sanctions were lifted, the Western energy crisis would end. But that would mean admitting to a failed policy. So, instead, we’re being told that it’s all Putin’s fault, but also that the best way to stick it to Vladimir Putin is to take short, cold showers and to reduce “night lighting,” as Macron has recently suggested.
Western leaders aren’t just taking their citizens for credulous fools with
their ridiculous propaganda as cover for their own failures, but they’re
treating the livelihood of the average person as collateral economic damage in
their hopeless bid to isolate Russia. They've convinced themselves, from their
ideologically-isolated elite bubble, that they represent the entire world. But
they’re mostly just fooling themselves.
Even the EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, admitted to a rude awakening
recently at the G20 summit. “The G7 and like-minded countries are united in
condemning and sanctioning Russia and in trying to hold the regime accountable,”
Borrell said in a statement on the EU’s website. “But other countries, and we
can speak here of the majority of the ‘Global South’, often take a different
But then Borrell gave away the game. “The global battle of narratives is in
full swing and, for now, we are not winning,” he said. “As the EU, we have to
engage further to refute Russian lies and war propaganda.” But who’s really
peddling the propaganda? On one hand, the EU has been trying to portray the
impact of their own irresponsible and devastating sanctions on their own
economies and citizens as Putin’s doing even as they try to convince Westerners
that their suffering is some kind of a war effort that’s doing harm to Russia.
However, in reality, Russia can pivot to the rest of the entire world and
simply leave West Europeans to wallow in their own costly delusions. They may be
about to find out whether moral superiority and virtue-signaling will heat the
house or feed the kids this winter.
COPYRIGHT 2022 RACHEL MARSDEN