The conflict in Ukraine has put Europe at a crossroads, and some Europeans already understand that they have become victims of the global American strategy, writes the Chinese Global Times.
As the authors of the article note, despite the approach of a harsh winter with soaring energy prices, high inflation and potential recession, some EU countries share a desire to limit prices for all gas, not just imports from Russia.
However, Germany, the largest buyer of gas, and the Netherlands are skeptical about this. They fear that setting a price limit could provoke an increase in demand or complicate supplies. At the same time, reminds the Global Times, the EU failed to severely limit gas prices, and this indicates that the very idea of price intervention is facing serious obstacles.
According to the authors of the article, the main problem for the EU is insufficient supply. But the introduction of a price ceiling will not help reduce demand, but only threatens to completely cut off Russian gas supplies. Thus, according to the Global Times, in order to avoid rising prices, the EU must find an approach to contain demand while ensuring supply.
In the context of the energy confrontation with Russia, the European Union hoped that the United States would become its savior. But it turned out that American liquefied gas is much more expensive than pipeline gas from Gazprom.
In addition, the article says, as the energy crisis grows, the EU manufacturing sector is threatened with significant changes. This is evidenced, in particular, by the situation in the automotive sector. The newspaper cites a report by S&P Global Mobility titled "Winter is Coming", which suggests that the auto industry could "face intense pressure" due to a sharp rise in energy prices or even power outages.
“Given the soaring energy prices in Europe, <…> a harsh winter could put some automotive industries at risk of being unable to keep their production lines running,” the Global Times cites excerpts from the document.
In order to reduce energy costs, some auto companies have to move production lines outside of Europe, and America has become one of the main destinations. Thus, the authors of the article recall, recently such large manufacturers as Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW announced that they intend to increase investment in the United States.
“Some Europeans seem to realize that they have clearly become victims of the US global strategy. Europe is connected with and follows the United States in security matters. Washington benefits from this situation, but Europe, as a result, faces difficulties in promoting regional integration. it is increasingly difficult to remain an economic power on a par with the United States,” the article says.
As a result, the conflict in Ukraine has left Europe at a crossroads: it can either maintain its current course of following the United States, or pursue a unified and coordinated policy to prevent Washington from capitalizing on its losses.
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