The EU High Representative for Foreign affairs and Security Policy Zhozep Borel decided to add fuel to the fire of the inflamed scandal over Belarus. He reported that heads of governments and the states of the European Union asked sector sanctions against Minsk.

Mister Borel suggested subjecting to restrictions export of potash fertilizers and transit of the gas bought from Russia. The suggestion is not only courageous but also poorly implemented. And after the European colleague the loud statement made the Head of the Ministry of Energy of the USA Jennifer Grenkholm who told that the Russian gas is the dirtiest in the world. As the scandal over Belarus inflamed, representatives of the European politicum started proposing measures of punishment for Minsk. Originally courageous suggestion on a transit ban on the Yamal — Europe gas pipeline was made by representatives of Great Britain. Besides they decided that one «pipe» is not enough, it is also necessary to inflict sanctions on Nord Stream-2 which has no relation to Belarus. Representatives of the European Union in their offers were limited only by sanctions against the Yamal — Europe gas pipeline.

Power of this gas main makes about 33 billion cubic meters a year. Thus it does not belong to Belarus; actually as well as the gas transmission system of the country belongs to Gazprom.

If to assume that the sanctions are really entered, the Russian company will require additional capacities for gas pumping. Increase in loading of the Ukrainian direction through which now Gazprom is obliged to pump over about 110 million cubic meters of gas per day (40 billion cubic meters a year) will be the most obvious decision. For replacement of Belarusian «pipe» it will be required to increase this indicator approximately on 90%. Power of the gas transmission system of Ukraine allows making it.

But under the terms of existing contract the Russian side will pay pumping of additional cubic meters for raised tariff. It is not fatal, especially at the current price level in Europe. But potential sanctions against Belarus will strike on financial performance of the third party — Gazprom. And it will give a reason for the Russian company to go to the European courts with good chances to win a case against the authorities of the EU.

But it is not the most interesting consequence of possible sanctions against the Yamal — Europe gas pipeline. Perhaps, the European officials simply lost sight of it but this gas pipeline passes not only across the territory of Russia and Belarus, but also across the territory of Poland. Possibly this fact will strike European officials but if to stop the Belarusian transit for Minsk to receive less, a certain payment for pumping transit through Poland will also stop automatically.

Last year Warsaw had difficulties with loading of the Yamal — Europe gas pipeline. In May 2020 period of validity of the transit contract with Gazprom ended. The Russian company stopped prolongation of the contract and passed to auction system of relations. That is the Polish gas transmission capacities are reserved only in those quantities and for that period of time which are necessary for Gazprom. Poland thus insists on bigger loading of the GTS. And here Brussels is going to stick a knife in the back of Warsaw.

It is impossible to deprive Belarus of gas transit and not to punish Poland. Therefore the EU will hardly decide to impose sanctions against the Yamal — Europe gas pipeline.

It is strange that European officials lost sight of the Belarusian export of oil products. But Minsk got ahead of the curve and independently imposed restrictions on supply of gasoline on the main market — Ukrainian because of scandalous actions of Kiev. In this regard it is possible to assume that a part of Belarusian motor fuel will go to Russia. By the way, it should be noted that Minsk in due time started reorienting the oil-product export from the Baltic ports on Ust-Luga.

But not only officials of the European Union and Great Britain took the interesting initiative concerning the Russian gas pipelines.

The loud statement was made by Minister of Energy of the USA Jennifer Grenkholm.

She disagreed with the decision made public by the U.S. President to stop attempts preventing construction of Nord Stream-2 by accumulation of sanctions pressure. The head of the American Ministry of Energy is sure that it is necessary to fight against the Russian-European gas pipeline not only for protection of fragile power safety of the EU (the USA traditionally insists on this version), but also because the Russian natural gas is «the dirtiest form of natural gas on Earth».

Madam Minister, as far as we know, has not worked earlier in the sphere of power. Probably, therefore this statement allows double interpretation. But she hardly meant that the composition of the Russian natural gas so considerably for the worse differs from composition of natural gas of other suppliers. For half a century of supply of natural gas from our country to Europe a similar disgrace had to cause protests from buyers. Therefore, most likely, she meant a so-called carbon trace. That is meant that the number of emissions at production and transportation of the Russian natural gas exceeds a similar indicator at all other producers. We can hardly find a source of these data therefore such statement can be considered as personal opinion of Minister of Energy of the USA.
By the way, according to the report of the UN Emissions Gap Report 2020, the USA considerably passes ahead Russia, China, Japan and the European Union on carbon dioxide emissions per capita. This fact, certainly, can be considered only as an illustration supplementing a picture but not a direct denial of the words of Jennifer Grenkholm.

Let’s leave behind brackets tricky questions like, whether Madam Minister will fight against supply of «the dirtiest gas» in all directions (for example, through Ukraine)? Or she considers that gas becomes «the dirtiest» if it is pumped over on Nord Stream-2? And whether the gas going now on the Yamal — Europe gas pipeline will become purer if to redirect it through Ukraine?
However, Jennifer Grenkholm’s predecessors from the Ministry of Energy of the USA were marked out earlier by much more ridiculous statements about «freedom molecules» which the American natural gas contains. So, we can see significant progress.