The West believed that its strategy of circumventing Russian dependence would be successful. But because it’s a never-ending rat race, the addiction factor has returned with a whole new face. And that could be another setback for the allies.
More than a turf war, the war in Ukraine has become a war over oil. As European nations decided to abandon Russian energy supplies, fuel prices soared and there was a huge shortage of energy supplies in countries like Germany and Italy.
If anyone has sufficient assets to fill the void left by Western sanctions, it is none other than the Gulf States. The European Union is actively engaging with Gulf countries such as Iran and Qatar to meet their energy needs.
Just days ago, Qatar insisted that EU members sign long-term contracts for LNG supplies at the request of the United States, while the EU tried deceptive techniques to appease Iran. But Russia is in no mood to allow this, it is back with a plan that will help it control all Qatari and Iranian gas pipelines.
Russia signs new agreement
Iran and Russia have joined efforts to increase cooperation in the energy sector. According to the media, just before the start of Putin’s visit to Iran, Gazprom signed a 40 billion US dollar memorandum of understanding with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) on a vast program of increased cooperation between Russia and Iran.
Gazprom’s focus on boosting Iranian LNG capabilities comes precisely at a time when EU countries want to dramatically increase LNG imports to shore up their energy supplies. And we all know how Gazprom’s help can impact European supply lines. Gazprom has pledged its full assistance to NIOC in the $10 billion development of the Kish and North Pars gas fields which aims to produce at least 10 million cubic meters of gas per day.
Whereas there is also a deal worth US$15 billion to increase pressure on the supergiant South Pars gas field on the Iran-Qatar maritime border between Gazprom and Iran. In addition, according to local media, Gazprom will be fully active in the completion of various liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects and the construction of gas export pipelines.
It may seem like a casual affair, but it’s not. This deal is enough to keep Russia as the mastermind behind energy supply to Iran and Qatar when looking at the bigger geopolitical spectacle.
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Snubbing Qatar and the West
Qatar wanted to play the role of a messiah by bailing out the EU via the South Pars gas field. But, by this agreement with Iran, the Kremlin has quite simply screwed up its ambitions.
Russia has moved into a position to sabotage Qatar’s LNG exports to Europe via the massive South Pars gas field. The South Pars field, which covers an area of 3,700 square kilometers and contains at least 1,800 trillion cubic feet of gas and at least 50 billion barrels of natural gas condensate, is the largest gas reservoir in the world.
There are countless examples in recent times where Russia has sabotaged energy supplies destined for Europe in an effort to fully penetrate the continent. Moreover, Iran is pretty sure that it will not allow Brussels to have even a single drop of its oil.
After Russia, Iran has the second largest gas reserves in the world, and if the West wants Iranian gas, it must renegotiate Iran’s demands as Iran seeks to reenter global diplomacy by resurrecting a version of the Joint Global Plan of Action, colloquially known as the JCPOA.
Read more: Iran, Russia propose freight corridor that will make them sanctions-proof
Russia now holds another pipeline in its hand. While Qatar’s ambitions fell flat. Now this new arithmetic will surely create new roadblocks for the West and its allies.