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US hijacks European allies on Russian energy ban

by Staff reporter
10 Mar 2022 at 05:48hrs | Views
Russia and the US showed no signs of stopping biting each other's head off despite progress to a certain extent in Russia-Ukraine talks, with a Russian official announcing Moscow's readiness to respond to sanctions that will be swift and sensitive for targeted countries.

This came just hours after the US announced a ban on Russian oil, natural gas and coal imports and the UK outlined a plan to phase out Russian oil, as Washington took the opportunity of the Russia-Ukraine conflict to press further economic cutoff between Russia and the West, economists said.

The US' move to urge European allies on energy sanctions against Russia has a very "selfish" motive inside, as not only does the US look to weaken Europe's self-independence strategy by binding Europe's economic ties with the US, but also the country is using Russia-targeted sanctions as an excuse to ruthlessly extend its crackdown on third-party countries, including China, they said.

Chinese officials reiterated their stance in opposing unilateral sanctions yesterday, while experts said the chances are very small that China's energy supplies will have any severe disruptions as a result of the world energy crisis, although China will also feel the sting of global crude and natural gas price jump.

US President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that the US is banning Russian oil, natural gas and coal imports, shortly after the UK said it would phase out imports of Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022.

Dmitry Birichevsky, the director of Russia's foreign ministry's department for economic cooperation, was quoted by the RIA news agency as saying that

Russia was working on a broad response to sanctions that would be swift and felt in the West's most sensitive areas.

As the US moves to launch a campaign of "moral kidnapping" against China, with continued moves that aim for some coercion, China has clarified its stance that the Russia-Ukraine conflict cannot be resolved through sanctions and will require dialogue and negotiations.

China "firmly opposes" unilateral sanctions without basis of international laws, as frequent sanctions will not bring about peace or safety, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian stressed yesterday during a press conference.

Economists called the US ban on Russian energy, which it is actively instigating European countries to follow suit, is a long-premeditated tactic that is "not surprising at all," they said.

"The US is looking to replace Russia's role in many European countries as a major energy seller, not only for the good of their own oil and natural gas companies, but more importantly, to bind Europe's economic interests tightly with its own so Europe would be on the side of the US in terms of Asia-Pacific issues," Li Haidong, a professor from the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, said yesterday.

The US also has much more chips to interfere with EU's independence strategy once Europe becomes a major US energy buyer, Li said.

Dong Yifan, a research fellow with the Institute of European Studies at China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, also said that efforts to shift the EU toward the US in energy supply actually fit into the US' long-standing tactical intention of "kidnapping" Europe on the energy issue, tracing such tactics to the US accusation that Europe's natural gas ties with the Soviet Union during the Cold War funded the former northern Eurasian state.

Source - GlobalTimes
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