Winter is coming: EU vs. Russia
European Union energy supplies
It is no lie or surprise that Europe is highly dependent on Russian natural gas and oil. That is why after more than 200 days since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Europe is preparing for the arrival of one of the harshest winters ever: its first winter without Russian gas.
Since February 24, Europe's relationship with Moscow has been strained to the limit with the continued imposition of sanctions on the Kremlin aimed at stifling its financial muscle: hydrocarbon revenues. But this has not deterred Moscow, on the contrary, it has caused the country to seek to grow its sales to nations like China that rely on hydrocarbon imports. More than half of the natural gas used by the Asian superpower is purchased, and around two thirds of it is imported as LNG (Liquid Natural Gas). Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, China has sent Moscow the most money in exchange for its fossil fuels: €30 billion for oil, €1 billion for natural gas, and €3 billion for coal. This situation has strained relations between Moscow and Beijing (Hernández & López, 2022).
Hence, the strong dependence on the old continent and Russia's limitations on natural gas and oil exports, together with the escalation of gas prices, have set off the alarm bells of an energy crisis in Europe.
Does Europe have enough gas to face the winter?