Russia Finds a Way Out of Impending Sanctions

According to a former military source, any economic penalties imposed by NATO against Moscow will have little impact; this is because Beijing would provide respite in order to humiliate the US.

Talks Have Broken Down

Diplomatic talks came to a halt this week as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken responded to Russian requests with a handwritten answer.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said Thursday the statement provided “no reason for optimism,” but there were “prospects for further dialogue.”

Should Russia attack Ukraine, the US has decided to impose penalties on the country as a whole, as well as on President Vladimir Putin.

However, due to Russia’s close ties with China, Robert L. Wilkie, Assistant Defense secretary for People and Training during the Trump administration, argued any such economic sanctions would not have the same impact as American authorities believe.

Sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia, which might include shutting off Moscow’s connection to SWIFT and other international banking funds, may just encourage Russia to expand its oil and gas exports to China.

As per World’s Top Exports, Russia supplied 15.5 percent of China’s imported crude oil in 2020. As a result, Russia is now China’s second-largest oil and gas exporter.

Wilkie added, “[China] would begin buying a lot more electricity from Russia. If we go through with the SWIFT credit system, which allows Russia to tap western funds, China will make up the difference.”

“Even if Germany reversed course on Nord Stream 2, China should pick up the slack since they require energy as much as, if not more than, Europe. That’s how I imagine it going down,” he stated.

China to the Rescue

Xi recently stated China’s low-carbon aims should not come at the price of “regular life,” suggesting that such power cuts could jeopardize food and other basic necessities.

According to The Guardian, Xi told party leaders late Monday that China was required to “conquer the concept of fast success.”

“At the same time as decreasing carbon dioxide emissions, we must keep to the overall strategy and secure energy safety, industrial distribution network security, and food security,” Xi stated, implying reliance on oil and gas will continue, giving Russia a much-needed gateway.

The relationship between Russia and China has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. In the aftermath of World War II, they were, at best, shaky allies.

Tensions between the US managed to reach a breaking point during the Nixon presidency, which then-President Nixon and Secretary of State Dean Kissinger utilized to break up the relationship.

According to Wilkie, that “old hostility” has been “forgotten,” with Putin now serving as the “minority party in the partnership,” due to China’s economic might.

“China is eager to support anyone as long as it lowers the US’ international standing,” Wilkie stated.