EU ‘spat’ on its own values – Medvedev
European governments have “spat” on their own environmental values by embracing US oil extracted with the help of fracking technology, Russia's former president has claimed.
In a Telegram post titled “It’s not personal, just business” published on Monday, Dmitry Medvedev, who served as Russia’s president from 2008 till 2012 and is currently deputy chairman of the country’s Security Council, marveled at how “the [EU] Europeans, not stopping to think for a second, spat on all of their ‘immutable values’ of the past decades,” dashing headlong toward “their new fortune – new dirty energy.”
According to Medvedev, “The EU, which ‘lost its marbles’ over the renunciation of Russian energy can now forget about its ‘green ideals’.” The Russian official warned that the continent was in for something it “had previously been so squeamish about,” having to turn a blind eye to just how environmentally unfriendly the fracking technology employed in the US is.
Medvedev claimed that Washington, which “is ready to sink its teeth” into the European energy market, was the main beneficiary of plans to either phase out completely or significantly reduce EU consumption of Russian energy. He argued that Brussel's “green agenda” had been an obstacle in the way of American expansion in this field in recent years. So, now the US will jump at the opportunity to “make some dough” under the guise of a joint struggle against the “bloodthirsty regime” in Russia, Medvedev surmised.
He went on to describe American oil and gas as the “dirtiest in the world,” inquiring rhetorically whether anyone would now care about “global warming and the sustainable development goals declared by the UN.”
The ex-president pointed out that the EU itself had banned fracking on its own territory, as the technology, according to Medvedev, poses a major threat to the environment through “methane leaks at all stages of the extraction and transportation of hydrocarbons,” in addition to “groundwater contamination and earthquake risk.” Some sections of American society have also tried to draw attention to this problem in recent years, albeit without much success, Medvedev wrote.
The Russian politician proceeded to warn that “methane, as a greenhouse gas, is dozens of times more dangerous than carbon dioxide, while its leaks cause serious health issues.” Medvedev cited research which showed that a “mere 2.3% leak of the methane extracted nullifies all environmental advantages over coal.” For fracking extraction, in turn, leaks can vary from 1.5% to 9%, the official noted.
Medvedev charged that, in the name of profit, the US leadership has been neglecting international agreements on climate protection, including the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. He added that Washington has just been paying lip service to the climate agenda. According to Medvedev, the US, unlike Europe, did little to reduce its carbon emissions, prioritizing the protection of its industries instead. This difference in attitude to climate policies has rendered European manufacturers less competitive compared to their American rivals, he claimed.
Medvedev concluded by saying that the EU's wish to be free from energy supplied by the Russian regime would be granted in the end, warning, however, that instead the Europeans would be buying America’s ‘dirty’ and expensive fuel.
Since February 24, when Russia launched its military campaign against Ukraine, a whole host of countries, both in Europe and elsewhere, have announced plans to either dramatically scale down Russian energy imports or phase out those completely.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in turn, issued a decree in late March requiring nations that have imposed sanctions on Moscow to pay for Russian gas in rubles – something the likes of Germany and France rejected out of hand.