Regardless of who wins the Ukrainian war, the United States will be the strategic loser. Russia will build closer relations with China and other countries on the Eurasian continent, including India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf states. It will turn irrevocably away from European democracies and Washington. Just as President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger played the “China card” to isolate the Soviet Union during the Cold War, presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping will play their cards in a bid to contain U.S. global leadership.
Knowing that it can no longer keep Europe as its top energy customer, Moscow has logically moved to grow its fossil fuels sales with Asia, notably China and India. Since the Ukraine invasion, Russia has become China’s top oil provider, replacing Saudi Arabia. It is true that in the short to medium term, transfer capacity will limit how much more fossil fuels Russia can sell to China. Russia currently has just one overland oil route to China, the ESPO pipeline. The only gas pipeline currently in operation is Power of Siberia. Pipeline sales of both oil and gas are supplemented by seaborne routes to mainland China. In the years ahead, China and Russia will doubtlessly make substantial investments to expand oil and gas transmission between the two countries, better enabling Russia to be the primary supplier of fossil fuels to China. The Chinese will likely be able to reduce their dependence on fossil fuel shipments from the Middle East which must pass through vulnerable naval choke points such as the Malacca Straits. […]
Russia has also greatly increased its energy business with India since the Ukraine invasion. According to the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, “India has been the main buyer of the cargoes out of the Atlantic that Europe doesn’t want anymore.” Before invading Ukraine, India bought almost no oil from Russia. Now it is importing over 760,000 barrels a day. Increases in Russian fossil fuel sales to India will be detrimental to efforts by the United States, Australia, and Japan to continue to draw Delhi into a closer orbit with democratic countries in the Indo-Pacific region. Läs artikel