Europe is hopelessly bogged down

Demonstration for a western oil boycott against Russia in London

The chance to curb Russia’s imperialist strivings in the short term by means of oil sanctions can be regarded as a failure.

(Photo: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire)

If Russia’s President Vladimir Putin could envision a preferred opponent in the sanctions conflict, it would probably be quite similar to the picture the West currently paints. That applies at least to the question of the oil embargo.

First, after a long argument and hesitation, the Europeans delivered a kind of bogus boycott – with long transition periods and generous exemptions. Then the eternal obstructionist Hungary also questions this minimal consensus. Last but not least, it was Joe Biden, of all people, who mobilized resistance to the European oil boycott, the US president for whom no sanctions against Moscow after the Ukraine invasion could be too harsh.

All of this shows once again that there can be no talk of a really well thought-out and sustainable sanctions strategy by the West.

The US, which has long imposed such an embargo, now fears that a boycott of Europe, which is far more dependent on Russian oil than America, could send energy prices skyrocketing. However, the inflation rate in the USA is already above the eight percent mark. Congressional elections are in November – and when it comes to price developments, US citizens are just as sensitive as people in this country.

Top jobs of the day

Find the best jobs now and
be notified by email.

So behind the US advance is above all a domestic political calculation.

>> Read here: The US wants to dissuade the EU from an oil embargo against Russia

Tariffs on Russian oil imports better than full embargo

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who is currently traveling through Europe to close the ranks in Ukraine’s defense, is not even wrong on the matter. The introduction of a tariff on Russian oil imports is complex and has advantages over a complete embargo – even if the import tax were passed on to the European end consumer.

The world market price for oil, on the other hand, would rise less than with a complete boycott. In addition, the EU could adjust the tariff depending on price developments – and even relieve European energy consumers with the withheld tariffs.
Could, should, should – it is hardly to be expected that the Europeans, who are known for a certain indolence, will completely reintroduce their sanctions regime, which was created in laborious negotiations.

The chance to curb Russia’s imperialist strivings in the short term by means of oil sanctions can be regarded as a failure. The matter is much simpler with oil than with gas, where dependence on Russia is far greater.

The potential for conflict in the West is correspondingly large.

More: The fight over oil sanctions is about more than just money

source site-16