Will Russia Be Left in "Gas Isolation" if US Gets Its Way With Sanctions?

"I hope that reason prevails in Europe, and these gas projects are implemented, because they are of a commercial nature and they are mutually beneficial for both Europe and Russia", - Prime-minister Dmitry Medvedev during his interview to Russian TV-channels.

Journalist: Dmitry Anatolyevich, continuing on the topic of the United States, they don’t hide the fact that sanctions against Russia are designed to, among other things, replace our gas in the European market. Won’t we be left in gas isolation in this regard? At the beginning of the year, the Americans announced a new sanction package. Are we ready for it? Do we understand that we can find ourselves in the situation of similar countries that have been living under sanctions for decades?

Dmitry Medvedev: Frankly speaking, Igor, we, in fact, spent the entire 20th century under sanctions. I’ve repeatedly said that the Western countries imposed sanctions against the USSR and the new Russia ten times. If we talk about the famous Jackson-Vanik amendment, it was in effect for 40 years. The state was gone and the problem was gone, but the amendment was still in effect. Therefore, we lived under sanctions the entire time. Now, our partners are trying to make these sanctions long-term, that is, to cement them with the help of this law, to make sure that even the US president can’t abolish them. On the Jackson-Vanik amendment, I recall, the president made the decision, he could strike down this amendment. Now, even the president doesn’t have these powers, and we paid attention to the fact that this is, to some extent, a limitation of the US president’s executive power. Forget about these sanctions. We survived through the 20th century under them, and we’ll survive now. We’ve learned to do this. We’ve learned to overcome all these difficulties. In some ways, it even helped us. The course on import substitution, obviously, wouldn’t have been implemented in the form in which it’s being implemented without these new sanctions. They just hurt everyone. The last package is clearly aimed at limiting our gas capabilities in Europe. Why? Their position on this issue is completely cynical. They want to supply their liquefied natural gas to Europe. The Russians are interfering with their pipeline gas, the so-called piped gas, so they want to squeeze us out. It’s absolutely shameless. It makes even Europeans’ hair stand up on the back of their neck, though not all of them, because, unfortunately, our colleagues in Brussels also began to muddle this situation by making decisions aimed at extending the so-called Third Directive, the Third Energy Package, to our deliveries. Let's hope that reason prevails in Europe, and that these gas projects are implemented, because they are of a simple commercial nature and they are mutually beneficial for both Europe and Russia.