by Phil T. Looker, 16 September 2022
The sanctions imposed by European Union member states, the UK, Switzerland Norway and other NATO member states against Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine in February this year will rank in as the biggest self inflicted kicks in the bollocks throughout recorded history, and the best example in living memory of the disastrous consequences of how not thinking things through properly can result in disastrous unintended consequences.
While seeking to punish Russia by cutting off gas and oil imports, European Union politicians, in their zeal to embrace the groupthink and follow the crowd, managed to overlook the fact that their embracing the groupthink on climate change and 'net zero' energy policies they had made Europe dependent on Russian energy supplies , with absolutely no fallback position and that the only people to suffer were those imports shut down would be the people of Europe and European national economies.
Egged on by the American idiot - president, 'Dementia Joe Biden,' European leaders charged ahead with sanctions on imports of energy, fertilizer and other essential commodities, confident that the Russian economy would collapse in days and Vladimir Putin would have no option to to agree a ceasefire on whatever terms NATO saw fit to offer. USA led NATO terms because, let's be honest, this was never a war between Ukraine and Russia, it was the long planned proxy war between the USA and Russia fought on Ukrainian soil and using Ukrainian army personnel as cannon fodder and Ukrainian civilians for target practice.
Russians however play their own games and make up the rules as they go along and The Kremlin simply pivoted to the south and east and found plenty of new buyers for its oil, gas and other commodities in China, India, and elsewhere. In fact, Russia’s state-run Gazprom energy company has reported that its profits have increased by 100 percent in the first half of this year.
Russia's economy is booming while Europeans are facing a freezing winter , food shortages, power cuts, hyper - inflation, a cost of living crisis and economic collapse. All because of the false belief that sanctions are a cost-free way to force other countries to bow to your diktat.
What happens when the people on the shitty end of these stupid policies see energy bills skyrocket as the economy grounds to a halt? They become desperate and take to the streets in protest, civil unrests further disrupts the economic and social fabric.
This weekend thousands of Austrians took to the streets in a “Freedom Rally” to demand an end to sanctions and the opening of Nord Stream II, the gas pipeline on the verge of opening earlier this year. The protestors demanded government action to curb the rising cost of living and the insane increases in energy costs..
Some people condemned the Austrian government for failing the people and called for the lifting of “suicidal sanctions” against Russia and for Austria to break ranks with NATO and declare neutrality. Others condemned NATO’s belligerent nature, which is pushing Europe towards an unprecedented militarization. Austrian newspaper Heute quoted local police as saying the number of people at the scene was expected to reach 30,000.
Similar protests took place in Prague, the Czech capital, last Saturday (September 3). According to local sources, more than 70,000 Czechs poured into Wenceslas Square, to complain that the Czech government had failed to solve the energy crisis and should resign.
After the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Western countries increased sanctions on Russia, disrupting the supply of energy markets and causing European energy prices to soar. After Russia recently announced the indefinite shutdown of the “North Stream-1” gas pipeline, the European energy crisis has further fermented.
Not only that, the Group of Seven (G7) also wants to set a price cap on Russian natural gas. The Russian side responded that it would not work in a non-competitive environment, and Gazprom would completely cut off its supply to EU countries.
Even the Washington Post, a cheerleader for escalation throughout the conflict, was forced to admit that sanctions on Russia are not having the intended effect. In an article yesterday (15 September), the paper worries that sanctions are inflicting “collateral damage far beyond the intended target, potentially even hurting the very countries that impose them. Some even worried that the sanctions intended to deter and weaken Putin could end up emboldening and strengthening him.”
This is all predictable. Sanctions kill. Sometimes they kill innocents in the country targeted for destruction and sometimes they kill innocents in the country imposing them. The solution, as always, is non-intervention. No sanctions, no “color revolutions,” no meddling. It’s really that simple.