With European Union energy ministers due to hold an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss a price cap on Russian gas, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to halt all supplies of energy to Europe if Brussels went ahead with the move.
Speaking at an economic forum in Russia's Far East on Wednesday, Putin said that "We will not supply gas, oil, coal, heating oil－we will not supply anything" if Europe imposes the proposed cap.
Europe imports about 45 percent of its gas and 30 percent of its oil from Russia and with Nord Stream 1, the main pipeline supplying Russian gas to Europe, currently shut, supposedly for maintenance, European countries are already feeling the pinch of the energy shortage, with public anger at rising prices turning up the heat on governments.
Rising energy prices already pushed the annual inflation rate in the eurozone to 9.1 percent in August, up from 8.9 percent in July.
The European countries only have themselves to blame for this. By supporting the United States in its proxy war with Russia, they are inflicting severe wounds upon themselves. Nor should they expect the US to offer a helping hand. The US is indifferent to the suffering of its European allies. It is even willing to make a buck or two, or more, on it. According to Business Insider, every ship carrying liquid gas to Europe from the US makes a profit of more than $100 million on average.
And despite all its rhetoric aimed at justifying the sanctions on Russia, the US has been quite happy to carry on trading with Russia itself and it continues to import Russian crude oil.
Unless Europe changes course, its relationship with Russia, its main energy supplier, will not improve. And if that is the case, the rising energy prices will worsen Europe's economic recession and trigger a chain reaction of social turmoil.
It will take an enormous effort of will for European countries to end their dependency on the US for security, but if they weren't aware of it before, the dire consequences of the conflict in Ukraine should be enough to convince them that the capital-crusaders in the US don't give two hoots about them and they will sacrifice anyone and everyone in the name of American exceptionalism.
US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm reinforced the bitter truth that the US' European allies can't count on the US when the chips are down by writing to several major US oil refining companies asking them not to increase fuel exports but to concentrate on increasing US inventories.
The US' European allies have been left high, dry and shivering, hoisted by their own craven acceptance of Washington's petard.