A hard winter ahead for Europe

A hard winter ahead for Europe

On 24th Feb 2022, Russian forces entered into Ukraine, while breaching the international line. Russia used the word “humanitarian assistance” as the main reason for the attack. This is because the Azov regiment, the far right Ukrainian group accused of assaulting and killing Russian ethnic residing in Luhansk and Donetsk. The Russian president already claimed that the special military operation was launched to liberate people and denazify the group. On the other hand, the consequences of this attack is not limited to that region i.e. impact on Eastern Europe. But it has an impact on this globalized world. This is because of the petro-dollar and the oil which is the main component of this international political economy. The ongoing war in Ukraine and its impact on the European economy which is facing the energy crisis at contemporary time. It may be the hardest winter ahead for the European Continent.

At contemporary time, when war is gaining another position after Belarus thinks of joining hands with Russia. On the other hand, Europe is at the verge of great chaos. It is not just because of the spillover effect due to war, but because of the energy crisis which they are facing right now.

Pragmatically, it was the West and US which sanctioned Russia after the troops crossed the border. Russia responded in return with the penetrating gas and oil supply line. The energy supply to the international market is affected and the price is increasing day by day.

Earlier when Russia attacked Ukraine, even the German Chancellor Scholz successor accused the Kremlin of using gas prices as a tool to wage war on Europe. But it is the strategy of every oil producing state, and especially the OPEC states. Since Russia is part of OPEC+ which is the extension of OPEC.

OPEC is the international forum of oil producing states. Which controls oil price in the international market, prudently it has also control on the demand and supply line. OPEC-
Plus consists of 24 states Saudi Arabia is the leading state and Russian is part of it.

Saudi Arabia in meeting with OPEC+ states, decided to cut 2 million barrels of oil supply per day. It is one of the largest cuts on supplies since COVID 19 pandemic. It has been imposed when the world, especially Europe, is struggling with energy crisis and fuel price inflation. The US blamed the Saudis for taking the Russian side in this decision, because it would bring catastrophe in Europe which is already struggling for energy products. The biggest example here is the UK.

Let’s take the example of the UK, which is facing both an economic and political crisis at the moment. Prime Minister Liz Truss, she hardly spent 40 days in her office. The mini budget which was presented in the parliament of the UK has ruined her popularity. Which raised the question on her credibility to retain the position in such a situation or not? But Truss has put all blame on Russia, according to her; the ongoing war in Ukraine has created such a situation. Pound is crashed including the government bond market, inflation and the interest rates rose. The political crisis and the economic crisis can’t be underestimated even Alastair Campbell the former chief of staff of Tony Blair narrated that “That week would change everything”. This eventually led to Truss’ resignation and Rishi Sunak being named the new Prime Minister.

It’s not the story of just one state, but every European state is facing the same situation right now, including Germany. Which is negotiating with Russia for the Nord 2 stream pipeline so as not to face a crisis in upcoming days. Angela Markel also narrated that Russian supply is reliable and economical, also there is no security threat for Germany on using Russian oil and gas.

Let’s talk theoretically about the whole scenario and the way forward. The west and US are involved in saboteurs. This is because they planned to put NATO on the Russian border, the threat for Ukrainian was imminent and Russia did preemptive strike. The Paris school of thought believes in (in)securitization of problems related to individual security. On the other hand, the discourse plays an important role regarding securitization and desecuritization. The necessary thing for this is the identification of the matter, but here the problem is not why Russia attacked Ukraine; rather it could be on what basis Russia opted to invade Ukraine despite knowing the consequences they have to face i.e. sanctions.


On the other hand, the power knowledge nexus and discourse plays an important role. Mearsheimer said the Russian attack is offensive and falls in offensive realism. The world would see it in that lens, because the students know the credibility of Mearsheimer. So the purpose of discussing the whole is to understand why identification of problems is necessary. This is because even the local/domestic problem would then have an impact at regional level.

It can be concluded that if the world, especially Europe, wants to avoid and survive in the future. There need to change their practices. Rather than going for the old traditional method i.e. applied during the cold war. The matter needs to be solved through collaboration and cooperation between European powers and Russia. Putting NATO on the border will further intensify the problem, which would further affect the economy of Europe. Europe is facing energy poverty not only Europe but also other parts of the world, which will escalate the further problem in the region. Just remember the inter war period, the economic devastation, political crisis and the great depressions; which paved the way towards WWII. So it has to be taken seriously otherwise “the hard winter is ahead on European continent”

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Saad Riaz

Written by Saad Riaz

Saad Riaz studying Strategic Studies at National Defense University, Islamabad. He is an Internee at Global Affairs. His areas of interest include Security Culture and Traditional and Nontraditional Security.

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