August 14, 2022
KCNA Ministry of Foreign Affairs (EN)

A Boomerang Effect

Date: 12/07/2022 | Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (EN) | Read original version at source

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The EU has recently taken a “bold” measure to ban the imports of Russian coal and oil. But it has never dared to submit a new sanctions bill on banning imports of Russian gas.

There is a good reason for that.

That is because the economic situation in European countries is worsening day by day as the largest-scale sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU since the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis are bringing about an adverse effect.

“The Guardian”, “Frankfurter Allgemeine”, “The Wall Street Journal” and other major media reported that inflation rate in February in the Euro-zone which recorded 5.8%, the highest of ever, spiked to 8.1% in May, and that the enterprises in the metallurgical and chemical sectors have shut down one after another or made a drastic cut in production. They also reported that the European countries are now in a position where they have to release even their gas reserves for winter which have been stored up only 52% of their annual demands, in order to cope with gas shortage.

Against this backdrop, Russia suspended gas supplies in May to five EU member states which refused its request to pay the price for gas purchasing in rubles. And it took a measure recently to cut off gas supplies to Italy, Germany and France by 50%, 60% and 100%, respectively. These put European countries in a dilemma.

Given circumstances, as media comments, the EU is continuously demanding that the U.S. and Middle East countries scale up gas production to replace the energy from Russia, but it has yet to come up with any solution.

Meanwhile, voices are being heard in the European political circles that the sanctions against Russia have backfired. The minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, for instance, clarified his government stand at the Energy Council of the European Union that it will not support the embargo on gas imports from Russia under any circumstances.

“El Mundo”, “El Español”, CNN and other media commented that the U.S. reaped a huge profit during several months since the onset of the Ukrainian crisis by increasing its sale of home-made liquefied natural gas to Europe with an excuse that it will replace the Russian-made gas.

Above facts show as it stands that the EU only helped satisfy geopolitical and economic interests of the U.S. at the expense of its huge economic loss though it actively joined the U.S. in its sanctions and pressure upon Russia to show off what it called unity of the West.

Sanctions will only have a boomerang effect, instead of solving the problem.

Choe Hyon Do

Researcher of Korea-Europe Association

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