• Wed. Sep 21st, 2022

To hurt Russia, the West must punish itself

Russia is one of the main producers of oil and natural gas, so the world is dependent on its exports. In fact, the European Union depends on Russia for more than a third of its natural gas.

“The President of the United States has to worry about his national polls as we approach a new election season, and European leaders also have their own domestic political constraints,” CNN political analyst Josh told me. Roger. “It ends up limiting the scope of responses, the scope of action that allies can put in place in response to Putin’s aggression. Of course, Putin knows that. It’s a reality of democracies and it’s a an advantage for Putin that he is sure to exploit.” .”

The White House and its allies have announced their first set of sanctions – on two banks, sovereign debt and some oligarchs – with more sanctions to come if Putin persists. Biden acknowledged that the sanctions would also impact Americans.

“Defending freedom will have costs for us too and here at home,” President Biden said on Tuesday. “We have to be honest about it.”

He called it “critical” to “mitigate” higher energy costs.

“We are closely monitoring energy supplies for any disruptions and executing a plan in coordination with major oil consumers and producers toward collective investment to ensure stability and global energy supply,” Biden said.

What could that mean? Pressure on producers to turn on their taps, coordinated release of strategic oil stocks with allies, gasoline tax exemptions or incentives for domestic shale producers.

But the president’s tools are limited.

“We have levers, Putin has levers and when we’ve all finished pulling all our levers, we’re back to square one,” Rogin said. “The Russians’ ability to manipulate energy markets will always be greater than the Europeans’ ability to mitigate those manipulations.”

In the meantime, Greg Valliere of AGF Placements tells his clients to expect a Russian reaction with three main objectives: “Plunge much of the West into a high-inflation economic crisis; dividing the United States between isolationists and internationalists, and launching a cyber war against the United States and Kiev, disrupting everything from ATMs to corporate boardrooms. »