Gas in exchange for rubles: Russia's decision put Europe in a difficult position

Gas in exchange for rubles: Russia's decision put Europe in a difficult position
Gas in exchange for rubles: Russia's decision put Europe in a difficult position
25 March, 16:32Photo: Соцсети
Now European countries must either waive part of the sanctions, or refuse gas supplies.

Financial analyst Pavel Spaidel published in his channel a detailed structure of commodity exports from Russia over the past 20 years.

As can be seen from the table, almost 2/3 of all Russian exports of oil and oil products are now sent to unfriendly countries/regions. Moreover, the dependence on hostile countries for the export of petroleum products is higher than for the export of oil - 80% versus 57% in the structure of all Russian exports of oil and petroleum products.

Europe's dependence on Russian gas is estimated at 60%, with over 80% dependence on pipeline gas

Europe consumes 540-560 billion cubic meters of gas, net imports are 320-350 billion cubic meters, about 200 billion cubic meters come from Russia, where 180 billion cubic meters are delivered through the pipeline.

Pipeline gas is the main one in the structure of imports, in 2020 about 2/3 of the gas to Europe went through the pipeline, in 2021 about 62%. From 2000 to 2008, on average, there was 85% of gas through the pipeline, and from 2009 to 2018, on average, 80%. The share of the pipe began to decline from 2019, replacing it with LNG supplies. Yes, LNG will gradually replace pipeline gas, but this is a very long process. The infrastructure of LNG terminals cannot be built in a couple of years.

In total, in the structure of Russia's exports, about 2/3 of all oil and gas exports are concentrated in countries that have imposed sanctions against our country.

That is why the statement of the Russian authorities that the country is switching to payments in rubles under export contracts for gas has far-reaching consequences.

The analyst believes that this is a very clever maneuver that provokes zugzwang in Europe:

“It is neither technically nor economically possible to abandon the Russian gas pipeline in the next 5 years. Yes, if we consider long-term trends and processes from 8-10 years to replace fossil fuels, I admit that gas imports from Russia will fall to a critical minimum, but definitely not in the next 3 years. With oil, it is a little easier in Europe, but with gas, the dependence is serious.

Settlements in rubles automatically force European banks to open credit lines with the Russian financial infrastructure, because Europe does not have rubles for gas supplies. They can only be taken. Calculations on the balance of payments will be later... This is good for our banks, dealers and stock exchanges, and also good for the ruble. Moreover, it is good in terms of security for reserving export earnings, because. the euro and the dollar can be blocked at any time.

However, this directly contradicts the sanctions imposed by Europe. Both in terms of interaction on settlement operations, and on interaction with the banking system of Russia. It follows from this that Europe must either abandon part of the sanctions and give the back, or refuse gas supplies. But Europe cannot refuse gas supplies, therefore, it will be forced to look for workarounds.

Therefore, this measure is a huge foreign policy success, both in the short term and in the long term in the context of rebuilding the world order. Slowly but surely…"

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