After being subject to unprecedented sanctions by the European Union, Russia retaliated by demanding that if EU countries still want to enjoy Russian gas, and one might add any possibility of keeping the lights on in Europe, they must henceforth pay for it in Rubles.
The EU and member states, with the notable exception of Hungary immediately retorted that they would not under any circumstances be held to ‘blackmail’, presumably miscalculating once again not only on how dependent Europe is on Russian energy resources for survival but also that Russia would somehow in their imagination, cave into their demands.
Now that the reality of the devastating consequences of these suicidal sanctions will have upon the European economy above all, finally seems to be dawning on the minds of our petty and grossly irresponsible political class, the EU has predictably had to eat its own words – and has quietly allowed member states to pay for the gas in Rubles after all. However this is not the only front where the EU has been forced to backtrack – It has recently called for an equally insane total embargo on all Russian fuels including nuclear fuel, coal, and of course Russian oil, only to belatedly realize that for many member states this would be tantamount to economic hara-kiri.
It is now reported that some members of the European Union stand ready to veto any bloc-wide attempts to impose an oil embargo on Russia.
In the words of Josep Borrell: “It will be very hard to reach consent on embargoing Russian oil deliveries or raising tariffs, because some member states have already announced they would veto any collective decision,”
In fact, The Wall Street Journal writes that in April the supply of crude oil from Russia to Europe actually increased from 1.3 million barrels per day to 1.6 million.
All this grandstanding and backtracking demonstrates is that we are led by a political class insulated in its own fantasy bubble – a bourgeoise liberal class totally divorced not only from the travails of the working class but also evidently clueless of the fundamentals required for an industrialized society to function. To prove the point, one needs to look no further than the hare-brained ideas being put forth by the EU such as that if we increased remote working and cycling to work we will manage to remove our dependency on Russian gas or oil or anything else – as if this would make an actual difference on industrial output (indeed it betrays a fundamental ignorance of how real industry works).
They are in fact latter-day Marie Antoinettes – who would have us eat cake.
Serious people, such as those at the Bundesbank have no illusions about what a premature termination of Russian resources would entail for Europe.
And the Russians now, thanks to our clueless politicians are firmly in the driving seat and calling the shots – what began with gas – will now extend to every other commodity. Only today Russia’s Rosneft has announced that it will accept only roubles upfront in forthcoming oil tenders.
When you will eventually sit in the dark, eating rationed food – do not blame this on Putin – blame it on the obscenely paid ignoramuses running the EU – and the politicians running your own country – it was their decision to start a sanctions battle, which anyone with an IQ higher than that of an amoeba, could immediately tell you we would lose hands down.
What started as a supposed show of European ‘unity’ – is now, in effect nothing but the digging of this artificial construct without a demos’ own grave.
All over Europe, even though we are still at the embryonic stage of the consequences our political masters have unleashed, and even though the media barely reports it – we have already begun to witness and feel the depression settling upon us. From food kitchens to political activism – we now live, without even knowing it in pre-revolutionary times.
The media can only hold the line for so long – and when it cannot anymore – then the gloves will come off and it won’t be pretty.
It never is.
We are about to find out that man does not live on Netflix – an entertainment company, and that only in a seriously deluded world would Netflix be valued twice as much as Gazprom.
We are about to find out the difference between a speculative and a real economy – and we will find out that we’re the emperor with no clothes – and once we realise that we’ll do, what any society before us did: look for scapegoats.
I don’t exclude the guillotine making a comeback.
Tough, but interesting times are ahead of us.