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The West's Counterpunch
Here's What Effective Energy Sanctions Against Russia Look Like

As the United States considers its options in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, many have pointed out that, to the extent that Russia’s energy industries are targeted, Europe could be hurt by contracted Russian exports of hydrocarbons. But by specifically targeting new oil and gas projects, while leaving existing fields alone, the West could have its cake and eat it, too. The FT reports:

The plan is to block exports of oil and gas technology only for new projects run by state-controlled companies, with the objective of casting the long-term future of Russia’s energy industry into doubt, while safeguarding its short-term contribution to global fuel supplies.

“This situation calls for a scalpel, not a meat axe,” says Robin West of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “We need targeted asymmetric sanctions that hurt them more than they hurt us.”

By preventing new oil and gas technology from being used in Russia, the West could throw a wrench in Moscow’s long-term goals, like developing Siberian shale or exploiting new reserves of oil and gas in the melting Arctic circle, without endangering Europe’s energy security in the short-term.

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  • wigwag


    Who experiences the economic pain if Siberian shale or oil and gas from the Arctic Circle are never exploited? We all do.

    Sure it hurts the Russians; but what do you suppose it does for the price of oil and gas in the United States, China, India and the rest of the world if all the oil and gas sitting under Russian soil never makes it to market?

    • Boritz

      “…shale or oil and gas from the Arctic Circle are never exploited”

      These are beautiful words to the people who are quite effectively blocking Keystone, but that’s a coincidence.

  • lukelea

    But do we really want to go there? Does Russia? Isn’t there some middle ground that leaves Ukraine as a buffer state? This calls for creative diplomacy. Where are the diplomatists?

    • Andrew Allison

      Out to lunch. It was the effort on the part of the EU, supported by the US, to change Ukraine’s status as a buffer which created this mess.

    • El Gringo

      Where are the diplomatists?

      Busy bringing peace to Palestine and reversing climate change.

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