Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

U.S. and Allies Seek United Front on Russia-Ukraine Crisis

New York Times

NATO nations pursued talks but warned Russia of severe penalties for aggression. Washington made plans to boost European fuel supplies in case of a Russian embargo.

The Biden administration announced on Tuesday that it was working with gas and crude oil suppliers from the Middle East, North Africa and Asia to bolster supplies to Europe in coming weeks, in an effort to blunt the threat that Russia could cut off fuel shipments in the escalating conflict over Ukraine.

European allies have been cautious in public about how far they would go in placing severe sanctions on Moscow if it invades Ukraine. Germany has been especially wary; it has shuttered many of its nuclear plants, increasing its dependence on natural gas imports to generate electricity.

Many European officials have said they suspect President Vladimir V. Putin instigated the current crisis in the depths of winter for a reason, calculating that his leverage is maximized if he can threaten to turn off Russian fuel sales to Europe.

Russia provides about one-third of the gas and crude oil imported by the European Union. Last year Russia provided about 128 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe, according to industry estimates, and about a third of that flowed through a pipeline that runs through Ukraine. Russia has reduced that flow this winter, and its effort to open the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, connecting Siberia to Germany, would route fuel around Ukraine, and increase European dependency on Russian supply.

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