According to multiple reports, after initially agreeing to boycott Russian natural gas, the 'green' countries of the EU, who relied far too much on nonsensical left-wing 'renewable energy' propaganda, are moving to rapidly purchase the fossil fuel commodity to power their countries.
And while they can't use the world's reserve currency, the U.S. dollar, to make those purchases, they are acceding to Putin's demand to purchase gas in either rubles or euros.
Late last week, Bloomberg News reported that 10 more European countries opened up ruble accounts at Russian banks so they could make gas purchases and bypass the U.S.-led sanctions. Russian energy giant Gazprom said that now makes 20 clients in all:
A total of twenty European companies have opened accounts, with another 14 clients asking for the paperwork needed to set them up, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential matters. He declined to identify the companies.
European buyers have been struggling for weeks to figure out how they can meet Putin’s order to pay for Russian gas in rubles starting April 1 and not fall afoul of European Union sanctions imposed over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Under the new mechanism, clients have to open two accounts: one in foreign currency and one in rubles in Gazprombank. After Poland and Bulgaria rejected these terms, Gazprom PJSC halted gas flows to them in late April.
The problem is, while European countries hate the fact that Russia has invaded Ukraine and is indiscriminately destroying entire swaths of that country with no regard for civilian casualties, for years those nations have increasingly relied on Moscow to supply them with their energy needs. It was both stupid and hypocritical; as leaders of those countries shunned fossil fuels in fealty to the lunatic left-wing fringe crowd claiming that human emissions were causing irreversible 'global warming' and 'climate change' and built out 'green' energy alternatives like wind and solar, they continued to rely on fossil fuels to power their economies -- they just didn't secure their own fossil fuel resources. So it wasn't as though they were no longer using oil-based products, they just bought them from Russia.
Which made them super-dependent on Moscow -- not very smart, considering most EU nations are members of NATO, and NATO supposedly still exists as a security pact in large part to keep Russia at bay.
“Most of the gas importers have already opened their account in rubles with Gazprom,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi told a press conference last week, adding that Germany’s top gas importer had already paid in rubles. And like Italy, Germany is a massive consumer of Russian gas.
This was weeks in the making.
Last month, Reuters reported that discussions were already underway in EU member nations to get around Russian energy sanctions by paying for natural gas in euros:
EU companies may be able to work around Russia's demand to receive gas payments in roubles without breaching sanctions if they pay in euros or dollars which are then converted into the Russian currency, the European Commission said...
The companies would also need to seek additional conditions on the transactions, such as a statement that they consider their contractual obligations complete once they have deposited the non-Russian currencies.
The bottom line is this: Without reimplementing the use of cheap, plentiful fossil fuels secured from sources other than Russia, European nations will continue to suffer economically and be at the mercy of Vladimir Putin, who will be able to do whatever he wants.
Renewables have their place in the energy mix, but nations who rely on them too much will soon discover what a mistake that was, one way or another.