How Europe fuels Putin’s (*) wars in Syria and Ukraine ?
In the wake of the occupation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014 by Putin’s(*) mercenaries, the European Union imposed economic sanctions upon Russia, which affected some businessmen, some technology transfer, and froze some parts of the Russian-European cooperation. The main business between Russia and the European Union though, the oil and gas trade, was never affected by the economic sanctions.(1)
To understand the implications of this, one needs to take a closer look to the importance for Russia of the gas and oil trade with the European Union.
The Russian federal budget depends for 50 % (!) on the export of gas and oil. (2)
20 % of the Russian federal budget is spent on the army and according to official statements, the Ukrainian and Syrian war expenditures are financed through the normal military budget.(3)
So knowing that Russia’s federal budget depends for 50 % on gas and oil export, what is Europe’s share in this ?
Official figures show that in 2013 66 % of Russia’s oil and 70 % of it’s gas exports were bought by the European Union. (4) To make calculations easier, let’s set it to 70 % (since 50% of Russia’s coal-export to the European Union is not included in the oil- and gas figures and also contributes to the Russian federal budget).
That means that 35 % of the Russian federal budget (70 % of 50 %), is financed by the oil, gas and coal export to the European Union, or, one might also say that the European Union finances the complete military budget (20 %) of the Russian federation, plus some 15 % more.
This 35 %, so essential to Putin’s war machine, was never affected by the economic sanctions implemented by the European Union. On the contrary. After a dip in 2014, which was not due to European or US trade sanctions, Russia’s gas and oil exports towards Europe soared again in 2015 and 2016.
Some say that Europe did not have any other choice, since we depend for our energy supply on Russia ? Does Europe really need Russia’s oil and gas ?
The answer is no. In September 2015, meaning after the illegal occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea by Putin and with the real threat that Putin might one day shut down Europe’s gas supply, Germany still refused to establish a strategic gas reserve since there is enough world supply (5).
The same applies to the world supply of oil.
The conclusion is strait forward :
Since you cannot rage wars without financing them, the European Union, by buying most of Russia’s oil and gas export, is the main fund provider for Russia’s military build-up and Putin’s (*) wars in Ukraine and Syria. By refusing to implement economic sanctions that would truly affect Putin’s capacity to finance his wars, the European Union bears a huge part of the responsibility of the genocidal carnage perpetrated against the Syrian and Ukrainian people.
April 12, 2017
*We intentionally speak of Putin’s wars and not of Russia’s wars since experts in human rights from all over the world agree that Putin’s and the Duma’s elections were rigged, and thus that Putin, the Duma (lower house) and the Federal Council (senate) are not the legal representatives of the Russian people and the wars raged by Putin are not the Russian people’s wars
(1) http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/sanctions/ukraine-crisis/ , last accessed 1102,16.
(2) http://blog.ihs.com/q21-wheres-russia-heading , last accessed 1102,2016.
(3) https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/calculating-the-cost-of-russias-war-in-syria-50382, last accessed 1101,2016.
(4) http://energypost.eu/russias-grand-gas-strategy-power-dominate-europe/, last accessed 1101,2016.
(5) https://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/energie/article146029254/BASF-verkauft-alle-deutschen-Gasspeicher-an-Russen.html, last accessed 1101,16.