[ltr]2022.02.26 - 08:23[/ltr]
The report believes that if the sanctions imposed by world leaders on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine included the energy sector, this could benefit the Gulf countries.
Germany has taken the most prominent step so far, stopping the ratification of the $ 11 billion Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project from Russia, "which was to ease pressure on European consumers who face record high prices," according to the report.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
The report’s author , Bill Trough , noted that “other countries were reluctant, not to have sanctions on Russia’s energy sector, the second largest oil producer in the world, and a country responsible for 40 percent of Europe’s imports of natural gas, or even Russia itself turning off the taps.” Double weapon.
"This could have a devastating impact on the global economy at a time when prices are at their highest levels in several years," she said.
That would "likely mean that the world will depend on other oil and gas producing countries to pump more supplies to help keep prices low or, in a worst-case scenario, to fill the immediate shortfall if Russia cuts supplies," she added.
And the writer considered that "this is where the Gulf states can use the Ukraine crisis to their advantage, and perhaps become one of the big winners in this war."
True, Washington sent the White House coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, Brett McGurk, to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to discuss the Gulf's ability to pump more oil, among other files.
Riyadh refused and instead committed to a five-year OPEC+ production agreement that includes Russia, prompting accusations in the US media that it is "colluding" with Moscow.
Here the writer explained that Saudi Arabia "could benefit from this need in the future."
She noted that the kingdom "accepted to US requests in the past: in 2018, Saudi Arabia responded to Donald Trump's call to increase oil production to promote market stability, and later to reduce production."
What could turn this on its head is Washington's concern about oil prices and the possibility of Russia cutting supplies, even though the Kremlin has made clear it does not want to do so, the report said.
Andreas Craig, a security specialist at King's College London, said: "Biden understands that realpolitik forces him to work with Saudi Arabia."
"The Saudis could ask for the kind of comprehensive missile package that they need to restock or get more green light on Yemen. It would be foolish not to do that when they are in the driver's seat," Craig added.
On the other hand, the report indicated that Iran, which is in the final stages of fierce negotiations with the United States to return to the new nuclear agreement, "wants the ability to sell its oil without hindrances and return to the level of 2.5 million barrels per day that it exported before Trump's sanctions."
Iranian crude exports dwindled to 700,000 barrels per day in January.
The report quoted Karen E Young, director of the Economics and Energy Program at the Middle East Institute, as saying that "the need for more oil in the market and a guaranteed supply line would provide Tehran with significant negotiating power as work is underway on the final details of the JCPOA."
"A lot of Iranian oil is already in the market through other means, but maybe they can get to 3.5 million barrels. They have a little leverage there," she added.
Young also referred to Qatar, the world's largest LNG producer, which is now in high demand.
On Tuesday, Qatari Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi said that "neither Qatar nor any other country has the ability to completely replace Russian gas supplies to Europe - in the event of the worst - given that it is responsible for about half of what the continent needs."
The report indicated that the Qatari storage units "are currently restricted to long-term contracts with mostly Asian buyers."
But Kaabi said on Tuesday that up to 15 percent could be transferred to Europe.
"While this will not be enough to bridge the gap left by Russia, it will be a powerful card that Doha can use to secure Western support and influence in the region, as it emerges from a four-year Saudi-led blockade," the report said.
"The Gulf oil and gas producing countries may be the winners in this chaotic war," Tru concluded.
The writer saw that Russian President Vladimir Putin's justification for the invasion "was based on lies." He explained that Putin "claimed that Moscow had to launch the invasion to save Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine from a threat of genocide that did not exist."
He noted that Putin's declaration that he would save Ukraine "from neo-Nazis" was "a strange way to describe a country whose president and prime minister are both Jews, and both are Democrats."
Friedland said Putin's objection "was not just an objection to NATO expansion, it was something more substantial."
"Putin argued that Ukraine was not a proper country, implying that only one was a real and legitimate country born out of the collapsed Soviet Union," he explained.
At the same time, the writer said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky identified in his speech the principle at stake, which is international law and the right to decide your future.
The report argues that this situation involves a choice: “Do we want to live in the world described by Zelensky, where democratic states are protected by an international system of rules, however flawed and inconsistent that system may be? Or do we want to live in Putin’s world, governed by the law of the jungle and where The only right is strength?"
"We think we know which side we are on. We want to stand with these miserable children, clutching their coloring books as they sleep in the Kiev subway station. We tell ourselves we stand with them and against Putin and his aggressive war," he said.
"Putin has hardly kept his worldview secret until now," Friedland added. "On the contrary, he has acted on it at least three times in the past 15 years, paying a small price each time."
"He seized a large part of Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014, and adopted the Assad regime's murderous war against the Syrian people," he explained.
He noted Russian dissident Garry Kasparov's regret "for the amnesia that has befallen the West."
He recalled the "Western boos that welcomed his annexation of Crimea: how, just four years later, Russia hosted the soccer World Cup. There was no strengthening of the defenses of the Ukrainians, so that they could protect themselves from this moment. There was no liquidation of the money of the oligarchs from Londongrad. Putin understood the signal: it was the green light."
"What do we propose to prevent him now, even as he invades his neighbor's country? The latest rounds of economic sanctions hardly hold him back, not when Moscow has friends, starting with China, ready to soften the blow. But even if the measures are stronger, there is no guarantee that they will succeed." ".
"If confronting Putin economically is ineffective, confronting him militarily is hardly reasonable or palatable," the Guardian report said. "The Russian dictator was doing his best to remind the West that his country is a powerful nuclear state."
"Analysts say that Putin does not see Russia's nuclear capability as a theory: it is integrated into his military strategy. No one wants to engage such a man, not least because he appears to be drifting away from stable rationality. It seems that modest options - perhaps imposing a zone No-fly over Ukraine - you have the same problems: it means that NATO is at war with Russia."
We can hope for a palace coup against the tsar. We can express our solidarity and admiration for these Russian anti-war demonstrators brave enough to take to the streets, hoping that they will somehow overthrow the tyrannical rule that destroys many lives. But this is nothing more than wishes. The bleakest possibility is that Putin understands something about the twenty-first century that few of us want to face: that this is an age of impunity, especially for those who have a huge and deadly arsenal but who have no shame.”
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani arrives at Coburg Palace, the meeting place of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in Vienna.
Also in the Guardian, the newspaper published an analysis of its correspondent in Jerusalem, Bethan McKiernan, on the situation of Israel in the event that Iran reached an agreement with the United States.
“International negotiators in Vienna are getting closer to what amounts to a watered down version of the original agreement,” McKiernan said. “In the process, what was thought just a short time ago by many Israelis to be a major geopolitical victory for Netanyahu has instead become a growing concern for the political and security establishment in Vienna. Israel".
"The United States has tried to apply maximum pressure with sanctions, and Israel has assassinated nuclear scientists and carried out attacks aimed at curbing Iranian military activity throughout the region," she added.
On Israel's behavior, "None of them succeeded," said Danny Citrinovic, who led Israeli military intelligence research between 2013 and 2016.
"All that has been done is to push Iran forward with its nuclear program. Now we no longer have options, and I fear that Israel and Iran are on a collision course in the near future," the author said.
She recalled that the 2015 agreement led by Barack Obama "lifted the severe international sanctions on the Islamic Republic's economy in return for 10-15 years of restrictions on its nuclear activities."
Since former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018, “Iran has accelerated uranium enrichment. Although the Iranian government insists that its nuclear program is peaceful, experts generally agree that if it so chose, Tehran could have nuclear weapons that are effective in within two years."
"The restored deal is set to maintain the original timeframes, which means that the uranium enrichment restrictions will expire in 2025," she added.
"For Israel, the outcome is much worse than the fateful 2015 agreement," she said.
"Not only has Tehran made significant technical progress, which will only be monitored over the next three years, it is on the cusp of receiving $7 billion in released frozen assets, as well as easing sanctions on exports such as oil," McKiernan said.
"Israel believes that this money will be directed to Iran's proxies throughout the region, and the international legitimacy conferred by the nuclear deal could encourage the Islamic Republic to be more daring in its regional ambitions," she added.
In a related context, she pointed out that "Israel is already participating in long land and air campaigns on its borders against Lebanese Hezbollah, Iranian-funded groups in Syria and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, in addition to naval skirmishes targeting Iranian and Israeli shipping vessels in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean."
Iran also controls Shiite militias in Iraq, and sees Houthi rebels in Yemen as important regional partners, and in January, the Houthis demonstrated that their drones and missiles were capable of reaching Abu Dhabi, which means Tel Aviv could soon become a target. within their reach."
It quoted an Israeli army official, who asked not to be named, as saying: "If they want to harm the Israelis, they already have many axes to try."
“Compared to the Netanyahu era, this time Israeli officials have been quietly observing the nuclear negotiations on the sidelines. Realizing that there is little they can do to influence the outcome, the Israeli government appears instead to push its American allies to reach a bilateral agreement the next day to address the Israeli fears.
She noted that this week, "Prime Minister Naftali Bennett reiterated Israel's firm position that the state will always preserve its freedom to act in defense of itself."
Last November, the Knesset approved a budget that includes an increase of 7 billion shekels in spending for the defense establishment to prepare for the threat posed by Iran.
"Israel is also preparing to deepen security ties with its new partners in the Abraham Agreement in the Gulf, who also fear Iran's military capability: this month, a security agreement was signed with Bahrain," she added.
And she concluded by saying that "while reviving the nuclear agreement with Iran may represent a limited success for the Biden administration, the stakes in the Middle East are still rising."
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]