Putin given 'vast power' over European economies says expert

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The US President has faced a wave of criticism for waiving sanctions slapped down on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will transit gas from Russia to Germany, bypassing Poland and Ukraine. In the hope to avoid EU law applying to the system, Mr Putin reportedly tightened the gas supplies travelling through Russia’s vast network of other pipelines.

The move has been blamed for gas prices across Europe skyrocketing and prompted real fears of a full crisis.

But while Mr Putin and state-owned Russian gas company, Gazprom, claim they are honouring their gas contracts, Russia has come under fire from the international community for using his new pipeline as a “geopolitical weapon”.

And now, tension is boiling over because as well reports of a gas squeeze to its nearby neighbour, Ukraine has now reported that nearly 100,000 Russian troops have descended onto its border.

It comes after the CEO of Naftogaz, Yuri Vitrenko, warned that a war between Russia and Ukraine could break out.

He told Express.co.uk: “The worst-case scenario is that there could be no gas flowing through Ukraine, it would allow him to blackmail Ukraine so could lead to full-scale war.

“For example, forget about Crimea, take back Donbass, the occupied regions, but on Putin’s terms, and basically the whole of Ukraine would become part of the Russian world.”

Some have blamed President Biden’s lack of action – having refused to slap down any sanctions on the same system that his predecessor, Donald Trump, had been quick to do.

Back in May, the Biden administration announced it was waiving Nord Stream 2 sanctions, despite the fact that a strong bipartisan Senate majority was in support of renewed sanctions.

The Republican Party of Arizona has slammed Mr Biden for global gas prices skyrocketing.

They posted on Twitter: “Biden approved Russia’s gas pipeline to Germany.

“As gasoline prices skyrocket Biden looks at shutting down another U.S. pipeline. This has to stop!”

Twitter user Yvette So claimed: “Biden stopped the Keystone XL pipeline and now seeks to halt the Canadian Line 5 pipeline, but he approved Russia to finish Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

“Now he’s begging OPEC to export more gas. His plan: cripple our economy, starve Americans and depend on oil from countries that hate us.”
David Asman, from Fox News, also thinks Mr Biden is responsible for the crisis.

He posted on Twitter: “Americans can’t afford oil and gas because Biden policies are scuttling US production and distribution while empowering Russia and OPEC’s dirty production.

“It’s uneconomical, unecological, and unpatriotic. A completely self-imposed “emergency.”

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Mr Biden blamed Russia for the gas crisis taking hold in his own nation.

At COP26 in Glasgow on Tuesday, the US President said: “If you take a look at gas prices, that is a consequence of, thus far, the refusal of Russia or the OPEC nations to pump more oil.

“We’ll see what happens on that score sooner than later.”

But as he calls for more gas to be exported by Russia and the major oil producers with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) like Saudi Arabia, his critics have pointed to his closing down of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Keystone XL would have transited between Canada the US, and no doubt would have increased gas supplies in the country.

And Mr Biden is now reportedly assessing whether to shut down another pipeline, the L5, which transits gas from Michigan to Canada as the country looks to become less dependent on fossil fuels to meet climate targets.

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