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Russian Energy Resources, Decreasing EU Economy and American Interests

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Experts which are analyzing Ukraine`s situation often focus on the conflict between Russia and the United States (US). But Washington’s aim is, in a sense, to get Russia bogged down in Ukraine and to distance Europe from Russian energy resources. However, these policies cause both for Ukraine`s and European Union (EU) countries to face severe economic problems.

In September 2022, the EU announced its intention to impose a price cap on Russian oil. This will negatively affect the cost of many goods in the European market.[1] In addition to this, it is also known that European countries aim to end natural gas imports from Russia. For example, Germany, which is the locomotive of the EU economy decided to put Nord Stream 2 on the shelf at the beginning of 2022. The Berlin administration has taken such a decision, although it is predicted that it will provide great benefits to the German economy and especially to its industry. According to predictions of the European Commission, Germany will enter an economic recession (downsizing) in 2023. Of course, this will negatively affect the EU in general not just the country in question.

According to European Commission, Germany’s gross domestic product is expected to contract by 0.6% in 2023. Moreover, this figure is the worst among the twenty-seven countries of the EU, along with Sweden. As a matter of fact, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, who made a statement on the subject, said, we are in a serious energy crisis that is rapidly turning into a socio-economic crisis.[2] However, it is thought that the economy will grow between 0.3% and 1.4% in June 2023 across the EU and the Eurozone. Until 2024, it is predicted that economic growth will be 1.6% on average in the EU and 1.5% in the Eurozone. Whereas the International Monetary Fund predicted a 5% growth in 2021 for 2022. The European Commission links such changes to the energy crisis, inflation and business sentiment.[3]

According to Paolo Gentiloni, who is responsible for the Economy at European Commission, economic indicators have deteriorated significantly, and a two-quarter decline is approaching. It can be said that the reason for this is the “uncertainty” caused by the war in Ukraine, high energy prices and a decrease in purchasing power due to inflation.[4]

In fact, the Ukraine Crisis is a security system crisis in the European continent. This crisis, however, could have been given another direction before it led to larger conflicts. However, the USA used the escalation of the crisis for its own interests. First, the Washington administration brought the EU against Russia.

In this context, while the US forced the EU to take serious decisions, the US ensured reducing the trade between Brussels and Moscow and intensifying the economic war. The conflict in Ukraine has created a suitable basis for the US to pull the EU out of cooperation with Russia. However, cheap Russian energy is vital for the European economy and production. The strong European economy is also seen as a competitor to the US economy. Because for many years, EU companies have represented an important competition for American industry. This is one of the reasons why the “Transatlantic Partnership” supported and promoted by Washington, did not happen. Because the US wanted to achieve several goals by transforming both sides of the Atlantic coast into a common market.

The first of these was the establishment of a global economic center under American leadership and the ability of the US to protect its position in the European market. The second was to prevent China from entering the Transatlantic market, which is the center of the global economy. The third was to be able to stand together as “one West” against the economic power of China.

Because of these goals, the US wants to prevent Europe from being economically independent and to cut off its ties with the Russian energy resources that allow it. Likewise, the strategic goal of the USA is to position itself as a strategic partner with China; but at the same time, it is to take away the opportunities of Russia, which derives most of its economic income from its trade relations with Europe.

As a result, it is hard to say how long the Ukrainian War will last. But the prolongation of the war did not only affect Russia; It negatively affects Europe, economically. Undoubtedly, the process increases the EU’s dependence on the US. This, in turn, serves the global goals of the Washington administration.


[1] “ЕС решил ускорить введение потолка цен на российскую нефть”, VTB, https://www.rbc.ru/economics/23/09/2022/632cef249a794744958db323, (Date of Accession: 23.11.2022).

[2] “Минэкономики ФРГ прогнозирует падение ВВП страны на 0,4% в 2023 году”, Vedomosti, https://www.vedomosti.ru/economics/news/2022/10/12/945197-minekonomiki-frg-prognoziruet-padenie, (Date of Accession: 28.11.2022).

[3] “Прогноз Еврокомиссии: ЕС вступит в рецессию в четвертом квартале 2022 года”, Frank Media, https://frankrg.com/101261, (Date of Accession: 23.11.2022).

[4] Паоло Джентилони: “Рецессию в Евросоюзе можно избежать”, Euronews, https://ru.euronews.com/my-europe/2022/11/22/eu-economic-semester, (Date of Accession: 23.11.2022).

Dr. Sabir ASKEROĞLU
Lisans öğrenimini Ankara Üniversitesi Siyasal Bilgiler Fakültesi Uluslararası İlişkiler bölümünde tamamlayan Dr. Sabir Askeroğlu, yüksek lisans derecesini Ankara Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Uluslararası İlişkiler Anabilim Dalı’nda almıştır. Doktora eğitimini İstanbul Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Siyaset Bilimi ve Uluslararası İlişkiler Anabilim Dalı’nda tamamlayan Dr. Askeroğlu, çeşitli düşünce kuruluşlarında görev yapmıştır. Başlıca ilgi alanları, Avrasya çalışmaları ve Rus dış politikası olan Dr. Askeroğlu, iyi derecede Rusça ve İngilizce bilmektedir.