News and Analysis

German Chancellor: Russian Energy ‘Essential’ For European Way Of Life, No Sanctions
15 February 2022, Russia, Moskau: KOMBO - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD, r) and Russian President Vladimir Putin look up after several hours of one-on-one talks at a joint press conference.
Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa (Photo by Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty Images)

As much of the Western world debates how best to beat back Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine without escalating the conflict to World War III involving troops from NATO countries, many have speculated that hitting Russian President Vladimir Putin in the proverbial economic jugular — Russian energy exports —  with heavy sanctions would drastically limit the motherland’s ability to fund the war.

Yet on Monday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz put the kibosh on that idea for the European Union, saying that the continent — especially Germany — relies on Russian energy for its way of life and cannot afford such sanctions because of the disruption it would bring to the economy and national security.

“Europe has deliberately exempted energy supplies from Russia from sanctions,” Scholz said in a statement, the Agence France-Presse reported.

“Supplying Europe with energy for heat generation, mobility, electricity supply and industry cannot be secured in any other way at the moment,” Scholz continued. “It is therefore of essential importance for the provision of public services and the daily lives of our citizens.”

“The federal government has been for months working urgently with its partners in the European Union and beyond to develop alternatives to Russian energy,” Scholz added.

“This cannot be done overnight,” the German leader noted. “That is why it is a conscious decision on our part to continue the activities of business enterprises in the area of energy supply with Russia.”

The announcement comes as President Joe Biden is reportedly considering an embargo of Russian oil in the United States, while also apparently floating the idea of asking Saudi Arabia and Venezuela to ramp up their production while leaving open the possibility of buying oil from Iran.

On Sunday, The Daily Wire reported that gas in the U.S. is currently averaging $4.00 a gallon. Others have reported that cutting off America’s import of Russian oil would only make that cost go higher without an alternative supply of oil:

The national average price for gas jumped to $4 per gallon over the weekend for the first time since 2008 as prices continue to worsen during the Biden-era.

“As of Sunday afternoon, the national average of a regular gallon of gas was $4.009, according to AAA,” USA Today reported. “That’s up 8 cents from Saturday and up 40 cents from last week. The U.S. hit the $4 national average a day earlier than analysts expected.”

Of course, many have argued that increasing America’s oil production would be a better move than relying on foreign countries — especially ones with hostilities like Venezuela, Iran, and a less-than-solid relationship with Saudi Arabia.

In response to already high gas prices, even electric vehicle maker and billionaire Elon Musk recognized that America should ramp up its oil output, The Daily Wire noted:

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk said late last week that he supported increasing domestic oil and gas drilling to offset energy problems that the U.S. is facing due to policies from the Biden administration and the war in Europe.

“Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures,” Musk tweeted. “Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports.”

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