- Hans Weber
- January 31, 2023
Czech industry is in Putin’s hands
Whether the EU bans imports of Russian natural gas doesn’t depend so much on how much damage it would inflict on the European economy, but rather on what the Russian army does in Ukraine. EU Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said yesterday that, “I think we all know that sanctions have an impact for the European economy. That if we want to respond to this military action with economic tools, we have to face this cost…. We are not taking now measures on [a] gas embargo, but in the future I think this is not off the table and is connected to the evolution of the war, not so much if it affects more Russia or more the European Union.” Czech Industry Min. Jozef Síkela said on Sun. that 25-33% of Czech winter gas demand could be covered by new Norwegian supplies in the best case.
This basically means that households and critical infrastructure could be kept going if Russian gas were shut off but that almost all industry would be shut down. The EU Commission has apparently already decided that it is willing to let Central European industry die and to allow Vladimir Putin to decide whether to pull the plug.