Daily Column – 7th February 2022

In order to start the week off right, let’s look at what Russia has done on the border between Russia and Ukraine. The US government said this weekend that Russia has at least 70% of what it needs to invade Ukraine.

In the words of National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan yesterday, a move into Ukraine “could happen as soon as tomorrow, or it could be a long time before that.”

The US thinks that a war could kill 50,000 civilians and 25,000 Ukrainian soldiers, and millions of people across Europe would be forced to flee.

It could also take Europe’s energy, which would be bad for the whole world.

As one of the things that keep world leaders awake at night is the possibility that Russia could stop giving Europe energy.

That’s how it would work: If Russia invades, the US has said it will put “the mother of all sanctions” on it. It would be possible for Russia to hit back with its own treasure chest. It could stop shipping gas to Europe.

If Europe relies on Russian energy like it does coffee, this would not be good for them.

Russia is the source of about 33% of Europe’s natural gas and more than 25% of its crude oil.

Germany, for example, gets more than half of its natural gas from Russia, which is a very bad thing.

People in Europe are already feeling the pinch because energy prices are at record highs. This puts Europe in even more danger. People in 22 million homes in Britain will see their gas and electricity bills go up by 54% in April, an energy regulator says.

What can I do? Not much. Russians could cut off all gas shipments to Europe, which would be bad for their own economy and the rest of the world. If Russia turns off the gas, Europe is looking into getting more gas from other countries.

Looking at the next few years…

People in charge of the Ukraine conflict are going to have two high-stakes meetings today. In Washington, DC, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is meeting with President Biden. In Moscow, French President Emmanuel Macron will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and they will both be in Washington, DC. It might be possible to avoid a war, said Macron.

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