Moscow described it as an “attack of shame.” Russia’s preparations and alternatives to possible sanctions

Experts estimate that Russia will be affected by stopping gas sales to Europe, but the effects will not be “fatal” at all, given Russia’s possession of large alternative markets, especially in China and the countries of Southeast Asia.

Moscow- No sooner had the stormy Security Council session called by the United States to discuss the Ukrainian crisis ended than a war of words erupted between Washington and its allies on the one hand, and Moscow on the other, accompanied by threats and counter-threats of economic and financial sanctions in response to the aggravation of the crisis between the two parties.

And US State Department spokesman Ned Price said – in a press briefing after the session – that Washington will take “deterrent” sanctions against Russia in the event of a hostile act against Ukraine.

But he did not reveal the nature of these sanctions, in an effort to deprive Moscow of the possibility of preparing to confront them.

Price noted that part of the “deterrent effect” of potential sanctions is that they would be unprecedented in terms of their scope and the damage they would do to Russia.

A day earlier, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that in the event of “aggression” against Ukraine, the UK would impose “the most severe sanctions” on Russia, including against people and companies associated with the Russian leadership.

“unjustified infringement”

In Moscow, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the British minister’s statements as an “attack of shame”, considering possible sanctions against Russian companies an “unjustified infringement” on business.

According to him, Russia will present its own response to the London attack on Russian business activities, in proportion to its national interests.

In response to US threats to impose sanctions, the Russian embassy in Washington announced that Moscow would not “back down” in the face of threats, “because it is the US side that acts as a “generator” of tension in bilateral relations,” according to a statement on its Facebook page.

The United States and the West threaten sanctions that affect Russian dollar trade transactions (Getty Images)

proactive action

Against the background of possible US sanctions, Sberbank – the largest bank in Russia – conducted technical exercises during which the shutdown of foreign electronic software and hardware was simulated. The bank plans to purchase large batches of servers and data storage systems.

As relations between Russia and the West continued to deteriorate at the beginning of 2022, the level of risks increased by using economic sanctions as a political weapon.

In this context, US President Joe Biden announced the possibility of excluding Russian banks from US dollar operations.

Congress published 3 bills for sanctions against large Russian banks and mining companies, for measures against organizations that provide remittance services, especially SWIFT, and for a ban on the purchase of Russian debt, including state bonds, in addition to personal sanctions against major Officials, penalties for the gas line “Nord Stream 2”.

Regarding Nord Stream 2, even before Russia massed 100,000 of its soldiers on the Ukrainian border, European countries panicked due to high energy prices.

As the crisis progressed on the Ukrainian border, the panic became more visible, because a war with Ukraine or possible sanctions against Russia could cause prices to reach new records almost every week if Moscow cuts off natural gas supplies to Europe in response to Western sanctions, and also in light of the direction of the United States. To prevent the completion of the gas pipeline with the help of these sanctions.

Banner precedent

At a time when people are used to Washington’s public skirmishes with Caracas, Tehran, Moscow and Beijing, the threats it has repeatedly expressed to impose sanctions against an economic business in the territory of the European Union is a remarkable precedent.

Alexander Dodchak, an economist at the CIS Institute, said that if Washington disrupts the “Nord Stream 2” project, this will reveal the extent to which European countries have lost their independent decision, because stopping the project harms them in the first place, and in this way they act against their interests.

The Russian expert denied to Al Jazeera Net what was said about Moscow blackmailing European countries with gas to turn them into a subsidiary, putting this accusation in the context of the media campaign of Western countries, which obtain Russian gas at reasonable prices.

In the expert’s assessment, Russia will be affected by stopping gas sales to Europe, but the effects will not be “fatal” at all, given Russia’s possession of large alternative markets, especially in China and Southeast Asian countries.

Once finished and certified, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will deliver Russian natural gas to Germany. PHOTO: BERND WUESTNECK/ASSOCIATED PRESSRussian experts warn of billions of dollars in European losses in the event of stopping the “Nord Stream 2” line (Associated Press)

Moscow alternatives

With regard to preventing Russia from financial transactions that involve the use of the US dollar, Dudchak pointed out that there are several alternatives, whether through transactions in the euro, or in the national currencies of partner countries in trading transactions. In addition, the imposition of sanctions will contribute to the further development of the Russian economy, to make it more immune to political and economic challenges.

As for the economic expert, Victor Lachon, he believes that the United States will continue to pressure German Chancellor Olaf Schultz to stop work on the “Nord Stream 2” project, under the pretext of the need to curb what it describes as Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Lachon told Al Jazeera Net that Germany will take the expected and expected position, and will transfer the right to decide the fate of the Russian gas project to the German regulator and the European Commission, which, in his opinion, is not inclined to do so, because it is not in Germany’s interest to abandon “Nord Stream 2”.

The economist explains that the suspension of the project threatens European energy companies with billions of dollars in losses, in addition to writing off 8 billion euros of investments.

It is believed that several factors are being combined together in the issue of the Russian gas project, and mixed with political considerations, by playing the anti-Russian card within certain political circles in Germany, in addition to American pressure on Denmark and the European Union in general, “because it is no secret that there are in Germany those who want Complicating relations between Germany and Russia to gain political points.

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