Russia and China share a 3500 mile common border and they have warm ties. China has indicated a willingness to help Russia defeat Western sanctions, which aren’t as likely to inconvenience Russia as they inconvenienced Iran.
Those pipelines also go to China. We might turn them off or blow them up on their route to Europe, but that just means send the fuel the opposite direction to China. They’ll buy it. They’ll use it. They won’t need to buy it from others.
China and Russia are serious. Obama and the Euros are not serious. That is all that needs to be understood about this posturing by the west.
A lot of people don’t understand that Russia has deliberately structured it’s economy to resist attempts at coercion by the NATO countries.
They are largely self sufficient. They have little trade with the US. They have strong trade ties with countries that are on bad terms with or wary of the US. They have little debt and big currency reserves.
We have seen how successful sanction have been on Cuba, Iraq, Iran and Syria.
Now China is weighing in. China has a vast and growing thirst for energy, food, raw materials and military equipment. They also have a lot of money to invest and goods to sell at low prices.
I wouldn’t put any money on big sanctions happening and I wouldn’t put any money that they will damage Russia very badly if they do happen. The US and EU are a smaller slice of the pie than they used to be. They don’t have as much weight to throw around in the developing world as they used to and more developing countries have truly independent governments.
If anything painful happens to Russia, one party that has billions to lose is Exxon. I understand they have some pull with the Fed Gov. Folks are talking about flooding the energy market to hurt Russia’s ability to find new markets if Europe shuts them out. What would that do to the folks at the big oil companies’ bottom lines?
Keep your eye on the ball, folks.