Tag Archives: Europe-Russia trade

By Banning Russian Oil, Europe Forgot How It Won the Cold War, by Bas Spliet

There have been times since World War II when Europe has refused to be America’s stooge. Unfortunately, now is not one of them. From Bas Spliet at libertarianinstitute.org:

The European Union is close to reaching an agreement on banning the import of Russian oil. Some Eastern-European member states, particularly Hungary, are trying to obtain exemptions or delays on the implementation of the ban. All in all, however, it seems likely that many if not all EU members will soon agree to ban Russian crude oil completely within the next six months, while refined oil would be phased out by the end of 2022.

The ban is only the latest EU disciplinary economic measure which the bloc has levelled against Russia. On February 24, the starting day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyden announced “massive” sanctions beyond those already implemented after the Russian seizure of Crimea in 2014. If the EU were to reach an agreement on the latest addition, these sanctions will come to target the Russian petroleum industry next to technological transfers, Russian banks, and Russian assets.

The expansion of the EU sanctions follow on the heels of Germany’s surprise move to freeze the approval process of Nord Stream 2 on February 22. This announcement, made even before the invasion had started, further jeopardized the operationalization of the natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, construction on which was already finished in the summer of 2021.

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To Fight Russia, Europe’s Regimes Risk Impoverishment and Recession for Europe, by Ryan McMaken

Europe needs a lot of what Russia has. Cutting themselves off hurts them more than it hurts Russia. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

European politicians are eager to be seen as “doing something” to oppose the Russian regime following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Most European regimes have wisely concluded—Polish and Baltic recklessness notwithstanding—that provoking a military conflict with nuclear-armed Russia is not a good idea. So, “doing something” consists primarily of trying to punish Moscow by cutting Europeans off from much-needed Russian oil and gas.

The problem is this tactic doesn’t do much to deter Russia in anything other than the short term because Russian oil can turn to numerous markets outside of Europe. Most of the world, after all, has declined to participate in the US and European embargoes and trade sanctions, opting for more measured approaches instead.

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