For some time now, I have been telling you the real impact on the energy sector is global. Well, what has transpired over the past week in Ukraine is a clear testimony to that fact.
Now the focus of the Ukrainian crisis will shift from Paris – where negotiations have begun (however furtively) between the U.S. and Russia – to Brussels and what the European Union (EU) can accomplish in the way of sanctions.
Of course, the sanctions are only possible with U.S. support, and America has no direct seat at the EU table.
But the past few days here in London have once again reminded me of how little the West can usually accomplish without direction from Washington, D.C.
Everybody I am talking to, including representatives of Russian interests, recognizes the change in terrain regarding European responses.
There has been resolute oratory and posturing. But London can no longer lead; Berlin is already balancing its economic interests against the situation in Crimea; while the rest of Europe is worried about sanctions resulting in higher energy prices and the threat that Russia will reduce natural gas supplies moving west.
The emergence of such a possible split in European resolve is certainly among the calculations currently going on in the Kremlin.