Sanctions and embargoes backfired; the global market saved Vladimir Putin. Who will save the West?
Even as the U.S. and European nations sought to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for his actions in Ukraine via economic sanctions and embargoes, the Chinese Communist Party quietly doubled China’s imports of Russian energy.
From March 2022 through May 2022, China spent $18.9 billion on discounted oil, gas and coal imports from Russia- twice what it acquired the previous year during the same period.
“China is already buying essentially everything that Russia can export via pipelines and Pacific ports,” Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air, admitted recently.
India is another nation taking good advantage of cheap Russian imports of oil and gas. The second most populous nation in the world sent Russia five times the amount of money it spent during the same period the previous year: $5.1 billion.
“Historically, India has taken very little Russian oil, but the war in Ukraine and Russian-origin oil embargoes by the European Union have led to a rebalancing in oil trade flows,” said Rystand Energy analyst Wei Cheong Ho of the enormous shift.
India and China are two major reasons economic embargoes and sanctions have failed to deter Russian aggression in the Ukraine in any way whatsoever. There are other reasons as well.
As July winds down and summer temperatures heat the hemisphere, winter seems a million miles away. It isn’t.
When Germany made the short-sighted decision to place so much of its critical energy needs at the whim of Vladimir Putin’s Nord Stream 1 pipeline, it may have signed away any hope of Ukrainian sovereignty. E.U. nations like Germany should perhaps, instead of useless sanctions, be hoping, fervently, that Ukraine is the extent of Vladimir Putin’s plans to extend the Russian empire in Europe.
Putin doesn’t have the German government over a barrel yet, but when winter comes, he will. When the cold weather hits, and an energy crisis means more than high prices at the pump, Putin will in short shrift be holding all the cards.