BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 9
By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:
The US could provide LNG to make a significant dent in Europe where, eg, in Germany just under half of its requirements are provided by Russia, a switch to make up the shortfall requires serious infrastructure, Ziba Norman, director of the UK Transatlantic & Caucasus Studies Institute, told Trend.
“This would take several years, even if a go ahead were given tomorrow. There are different types of facilities that could be invested in, but none will provide immediate relief,” she believes.
Norman noted that the problem here is not potential to find alternatives, it is about time and time is not on the side the of EU.
“The UK is far less dependent on Russian supplies, roughly 8 percent. Needless to say that the EU economies, starting with Germany will not easily withstand this shock. Prices will increase steeply, a trend we had already witnessed before start of hostilities in Ukraine. Rising energy prices in the energy sector will impact every area of the economy, and even might create food insecurity for poor segments of EU population. Europe, especially the EU, will pay a heavy price,” she said.
The expert pointed out that the US will not be impacted at this level, making the decision to stop Russian imports a relatively easy one in Washington, they import roughly 3 percent from Russia.
“So, the short answer is ‘yes’ it will be hugely disruptive to international energy markets.
And in the longer term the US has much to gain by weaning EU off Russian dependence. The question is how survivable is this for EU economies. This moment represents a violent alteration of the world order, happening far too fast for any realistic possibility of buffering the pain of such a shift. All parties should be working hard to agree an immediate ceasefire, to stop the senseless loss of life in Ukraine, and prevent a damaging and unrealistic option for immediate loss of Russian supplies,” Norman concluded.
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