EU reaping ‘reward’ of following in US footsteps

Now is an important period of the year energy-wise for European countries as they usually store natural gas for winter.

However, the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany is undergoing annual maintenance from July 11 to July 21, and European governments are worried that Moscow could extend that in order to restrict the gas supply to Europe.

There are good reasons for Germany and the rest of the European Union to worry that Russia might keep the pipeline turned off after July 21.

A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said that future supply would depend on the gas demand in Europe and Western sanctions against Russia. Obviously, it does not make sense for Russia to provide energy to countries that are sanctioning it and that are providing weapons to a country with which it is engaged in hostilities.

Although that might not be Russia's intention, the 10 days serve as a grace period for the EU to consider the matter rationally and rethink its gains and losses from its gung-ho participation in the United States' strategy to debilitate Russia.

Russia provides 55 percent of the natural gas Germany imported last year, and the construction of the Nord Stream 2 project, which connects Russia and Germany and that is almost finished, indicates that Germany cannot find a more reliable source of natural gas to replace Russia, even if it does not want to put all eggs in one basket.

As the energy shortage has already become almost unbearable in Germany and many other EU countries, it is a big question whether they would be able to stand the consequences of the Nord Stream 1 being shut down for any prolonged period.

A long-time pioneer in green development, Germany's re-embracing of coal power shows the heavy toll the Ukraine crisis is taking on its carbon emissions reduction strategy, which is related to many aspects of its social, economic and industrial policies.

That the euro and the US dollar reached parity last week for the first time in two decades, should awaken the bloc to the fact that it is directly paying for the conflict that Washington has orchestrated between Russia and Ukraine.

Rather than trying to promote talks to end the conflict, the EU has continually increased its sanctions on Russia and its provision of military resources to Ukraine, which has only served to pour oil on the flames.

Unless it negotiates with Russia to establish a lasting, balanced and sustainable security mechanism in Europe, the EU will continue to reap whatever the US sows.