For a long time, Europe has been a continent that has stood in the shadow of two great powers, and after the fall of the former Soviet Union, the newly formed European Union began to rely heavily upon Russian energy and trade exports just as it relied upon the United States for defense and technology. However, with the United States doing everything it can to protect the dollar and reserve currency in their economic war against Russia, the pressures they are putting on the Eurozone have come to fruition as on Sept. 5 it was announced that the EU will impose their own forms of economic sanctions on Russia, and begin a very dangerous game of chicken that could prove disastrous in a few months when winter weather becomes added to the equation.
Europe relies upon Russia for between 30 and 40% of their oil and natural gas needs, and this is especially needful during the winter months where past shutdowns have resulted in massive power outages and even deaths due to exposure. This is why the game of sanctions has been avoided by Europe for most of the year, but now appears to be a last resort as the cease-fires in Ukraine fail, and Russia comes closer to controlling the Eastern portions of the Eurasian country.
Leaked copy of Fri night #Russia sanctions deal confirms 3 energy cos to be hit by #EU capital markets ban: Rosneft, Gazprom Neft, Transneft – Peter Speigel via Twitter
Oil is the primary commodity that holds the Russian economy together, and approved sanctions against their top three energy producers by Europe is the equivalent of economic war against Vladimir Putin and the Russian economy. But the real question that lingers in these new restrictions is how willing is Europe to hold to these sanctions for a long period of time since Russia already has new and guaranteed outlets for their oil and natural gas, and the EU nations have very few options to replace what comes from Russia should the Eurasian power decide to turn off pipeline flow in response to these new sanctions?
It is very difficult to live in the shadow of two mountains as the high peaks of each can both protect, and bring disaster dependent upon the temperament of their natures. And with Europe choosing the protections of the U.S. over the potential avalanche that could fall upon them by Russia in just a few short months, the EU leaders will need to be very cautious and very careful on how they play this game, otherwise the results could be deadly once for the first snows of winter fall on the continent.