Geo-politics and national alliances can often make nation states do things that often backfire, and potentially bring disaster to their own peoples and economies. Poland discovered this recently when Russia cut shipments of natural gas to the Eastern European power after it was determined that they Poles were re-routing some of this gas back to Ukraine, who is currently under sanctions from Russia for both political reasons and non-payment of prior contracts.
Yet on Sept. 25, it appears that other members of the European Union (EU) failed to learn from this lesson and were also caught re-routing gas to Ukraine as part of their ongoing proxy war in the Eurasian state through their alliance with the U.S.. And in a quick response to this discovery, Russian energy minister Alexander Novak made it clear that these actions being done by EU member states were intolerable, and that Russia would respond to further incidents by threatening Europe with gas supply disruptions if the EU continues to re-export Russian gas to Ukraine.
It appears Vladimir Putin is willing to hit’em while they’re down. Early European equity weakness (and safe-haven flows) on asset-freeze threats have accelerated as Bloomberg reports, Russian energy minister Alexander Novak threatens gas supply disruptions if the EU continues to re-export Russian gas to Ukraine.
EU re-exporting Russian-purchased gas to Ukraine exceeds existing treaties, Novak tells newspaper, and that only adherence to negotiated agreements can guarantee undisrupted gas supplies to Europe – Zerohedge
News of this discovery by Russia of gas re-routing also comes just two days after the Obama administration began a new campaign of bombing in Syria, which threatens the integrity of Russia’s plans for a Middle Eastern pipeline and their warm water port in Tartus.
Bypassing sanctions is not a new thing for Europe, especially in light of their choosing to support the U.S. in co-opting Ukraine as a border state against Russia aggression. France for example was a central player in the infamous ‘oil for food’ scandal which occurred when Iraq traded oil for arms while under economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations. Additionally, Turkey was an EU associate member when they facilitated oil for gold transactions for Iran during the years of sanctions placed upon their economy by the U.S. over their nuclear programs.
Europe cannot afford to have Russia shut off the flow of natural gas and oil to their facilities in any way, particularly as this year’s winter appears to be coming early and heavy to the continent. And while Russia for the moment is reacting with just threats for catching the EU’s hand in the cookie jar in their re-routing gas to sanctioned Ukraine, any further interference by Europe could have swift and deadly consequences in the coming months to their people and economy.