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With sanctions on Russia taking a heavy toll on funding the invasion of Ukraine, Moscow’s reliance on fossil fuels may come to an abrupt end. As Europe continues to struggle with an energy crisis, moves are now being made by Western powers to diminish its reliance on Russian supplies.
Several key sources of energy are now being considered by the West, including gas from Qatar, as well as oil and gas from Venezuela and Iran.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Keith Pilbeam, a Professor of Economics at City University says some nations may be prepared to “undermine” Russia to sell their resources.
Prior to considering such moves, Professor Pilbeam said the move away from Russian energy starts at home.
He said: “I think there will be more emphasis on saving energy by European Governments, but this will only have a small impact on Russia.
“If there is less consumption, there will be less need to buy Russian gas and oil.”
The Professor also suggested the West holds the key when it comes to buying oil, and where it buys it from.
He said: “The West can out budget Putin by a long way.
“As we can add and remove sanctions on Russia, we can do the same to others.
“Some of these nations currently under sanction, like Iran and Venezuela, may move away from Russia and is their chance to get into the West’s good books.
“I think Iran and Venezuela will be tempted by Western money to undermine Russia, and being under the thumb of Putin means you will be on the wrong side of history.
“Iran wants to improve their economy, and it all comes down to money, and Iran boosting its economy will be good for the Government.”
However, another academic suggests it may not be so simple.
Dr Manouchehr Takin, a recognised world expert in technical and economic aspects of world oil supply and demand, OPEC policy and geopolitics said: “Iran can only partly impact Russia’s already huge exports of oil and gas.”
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Dr Takin said: “Due to sanctions, Iran has a large amount of oil in storage.
“If sanctions are lifted, Iran can very quickly release oil from storage centres around the world, this will have a great impact on the global oil market.
“The process will take several weeks or months.
“This cannot really replace Russian oil to Europe but is a help.
“Iranian oil on the market will bring the price down, but won’t impact the Russian economy.
“The key to Russian revenue lies in the gas supplies.
“With Europeans not buying Russian gas, the end consumers will suffer as will the Russian economy.
“But Iran cannot supply gas on a global scale without the infrastructure Russia already has in place, hence it will take time, resources and money.”
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With talks taking place in Vienna surrounding the restoration of the Iran Nuclear Deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA, some fear the lifting of sanctions will embolden Iran to push forward with its nuclear deal.
Iran however has repeatedly stated its nuclear programme is for peaceful civilian use only.
Professor Pilbeam, speaking of the ongoing talks in Vienna said: “The West will not allow the nuclear programme to destabilise the Middle East, and this will be used as a bargaining tool to tempt Iran into selling oil hence raising its economy.”
Should Europe turn to alternative sources of oil and gas? Can Iran meet global demands as the world economy recovers from the pandemic? Should consumers play their part and cut down on energy use? Let us know what you think by CLICKING HERE and joining the debate in our comments section below – Every Voice Matters!
Security academics suggest a nuclear-capable Iran would spark an arms race in West Asia, seeing Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and others taking up such arms.
Israel has also threatened to stand alone against Iran and has been accused by Tehran of conducting clandestine operations on Iranian nuclear facilities in Iran.
With oil and gas at record high prices, the introduction of Iranian resources will provide a much-welcomed buffer to rising prices, however, this could be a short term solution until more reliable logistics are put in place.
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