Europe Accuses US Of Profiting From Ukraine War While EU Suffers The Consequences
EUROPE - Top officials within the European Union are reportedly accusing the United States of "making a fortune" from the war in Ukraine, while EU countries suffer from the consequences of the ongoing war.
The officials have pointed out that not only is the United States making money hand over fist by selling weapons and equipment to Ukraine, but the shift of oil dependency that has lead to Europe buying oil from America rather than Russia has lead to what is, in their eyes, war profiteering.
A Report by POLITICO said that the top European officials are "furious" with the Biden administration as a result. Especially pointing out that the price that America is selling Europe gas is high, which gives the impression that the United States is making money off the misfortune of its own allies, leaving them to question whether or not the US was actually still an ally to Europe at all.
According to the report, the comments were backed both in public, as well as in private by officials, diplomats and ministers "elsewhere", which has revealed growing anger in Europe over subsidies that "threaten to wreck European industry".
A senior European official was cited by POLITICO as saying, “We are really at a historic juncture. America needs to realize that public opinion is shifting in many EU countries.”
Another top official was cited by the newspaper named Josep Borrell stated during an interview that “Americans — our friends — take decisions which have an economic impact on us."
A spokesperson for Biden's National Security Council was cited by the newspaper as responding to the complaints by saying, "The rise in gas prices in Europe is caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Putin's energy war against Europe, period," and said that exports of gas from the US to Europe "enabled Europe to diversify away from Russia".
French President Emmanuel Macron however, said that the high gas prices from the United States were not "friendly", and Germany's economy minister said that Washington needs to show more "solidarity" in order to aid in reducing energy costs.
The report also said that both ministers and diplomats elsewhere in the EU have shared their own frustration regarding what they call disregard and lack of consultation from the Biden administration, coupled with the impact of its economic policies on European countries.
When asked by EU leaders at the G20 meeting about the high gas prices from the United States, POLITICO reports that he seemed altogether "unaware of the issue", causing other EU officials and diplomats to agree that American ignorance regarding the consequences of U.S. economic policy on Europe was a "major problem".
Another dispute taking place in Europe is over the Biden administration's Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which it says shows that the United States is following a "domestic agenda" that discriminates against its allies.
"The Inflation Reduction Act is very worrying," Dutch Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher was cited by POLITICO as saying. "The potential impact on the European economy is very big."
Member of the European Parliament Tonico Picula was cited by the newspaper as saying, "The U.S. is following a domestic agenda, which is regrettably protectionist and discriminates against U.S. allies."
In response, an American official in defending the prices of gas said, "U.S. companies have been transparent and reliable suppliers of natural gas to Europe."
European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton was cited as saying on French Television that "The United States sells us its gas with a multiplier effect of four when it crosses the Atlantic."
He added, "Of course the Americans are our allies ... but when something goes wrong it is necessary also between allies to say it."
The Inflation Reduction Act has been seen more as a veiled push to support green industries, and according to the POLITICO report has sent Europe into "panic mode".
One EU diplomat was cited by the newspaper as asking “The Inflation Reduction Act has changed everything, Is Washington still our ally or not?”.
One official from France’s foreign affairs ministry was cited as saying that these are "discriminatory subsidies that will distort competition.”
This has caused the European Union to see America more as an economic rival than an ally.
German MEP Reinhard Bütikofer said, "We are experiencing a creeping crisis of trust on trade issues in this relationship. At some point, you have to assert yourself. "
"We are in a world of power struggles. When you arm-wrestle, if you are not muscular, if you are not prepared both physically and mentally, you lose," he added.
The report also says there is a growing amount of "irritation" regarding the large amount of money flowing into the American defense sector.
The United States has sold over $18.2 billion worth of weapons and military equipment to Ukraine since the Russian invasion on the country began, overshadowing the €8 billion worth of military aid to Ukraine by the EU.
Another diplomat cited by POLITICO said that the United States is not just making money on its aid to Ukraine, but also on the gas that its selling to European countries.
The diplomat said that “the money they are making on weapons” may help Americans understand that also making “all this cash on gas” may be "a bit too much".
The diplomat said that a discount on gas prices would aid in keeping "united our public opinions".
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