As the war in Ukraine rages on, the EU becomes more and more separated from Russia and Belarus.
Constant shouting about nuclear ashes and bombardment of London, Iskanders riding around near the Finnish border, strategic bomber flyovers, and the migrant crisis on the Polish border have their effect.
In Europe, they are now considering the territory of these countries to be infested by militarism and revanchism and are trying to distance themselves from Moscow and Minsk as much as possible.
The Polish wall and blockade of Kaliningrad
In less than five months, Poland has erected 187 km of a 5-meter wall on its eastern border, having spent 48 thousand tons of steel and installing 2500 cameras and motion detectors. The border is guarded by mounted patrols of the Territorial Defense Force and border guards. Warsaw plans to establish a similar perimeter next to Kaliningrad.
Lithuania is steadily strengthening the blockade of Kaliningrad in the course of expanding the European sanctions: this time they’ve assaulted the sacred by banning the transit of alcohol and alcohol-based industrial chemicals, while also placing a ban on concrete, wood, and metals.
The problem is further exacerbated by the exit of companies such as Maersk, which caused a container crisis in Russia, and if they want to run their logistics based on ferries, the rates have to grow significantly to compensate for frequent hauls.
The EU is actively rearming
The EU is having the most massive rearmament.
The Bundeswehr alone obtained €100 billion for this purpose. In addition, it will be spent not only on modernization directly, but also on supporting the allies who give weapons to Ukraine.
It was decided to buy 35 of the latest F-35 jets, Eurofighter fighter jets with new electronic warfare stations, combat drones, self-propelled howitzers, submarines, and corvettes.
Poland is preparing to make use of over €30 billion: they plan to purchase 500 HIMARS MLRS launchers, 250 Abrams tanks, 8 Patriot batteries, and 23 F-35 jets.
The new Chief of the General Staff of the UK openly states that the British Army needs to be able not only to send aircraft carriers to the east of Suez but to wage a continental war.
"We are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again," — Sir Patrick Sanders couldn’t be more clear.
Over four years, £80 billion ($95.2 billion) will be spent for this purpose: combat drones, an increase in the number of nuclear warheads on combat duty, and the modernization of tanks and aircraft.
The new height of the Cold War
With the deployment of additional NATO combat groups in eastern Europe, their increase to the brigade level, the restoration of the U.S. Army Prepositioned Stocks, and the general expansion of the NATO forces (over 300,000 NATO Quick-Reaction Force, 400,000 of the Polish Armed Forces), we are now back at the height of the Cold War.
PrSM hypersonic missiles will soon enter on duty, while Poland and Romania are mastering HIMARS launchers and Finland and Sweden are finalizing their NATO membership — "His Majesty" Mr. Putin has "outplayed" everyone once again.
Statements from Moscow saying that the operation in Ukraine is aimed at pushing the Alliance from the Russian border now sound more like a live broadcast from a madhouse.
"Punishment" with a gas pipe
But the Russians wouldn't be themselves without trying to put a spoke in Old Europe’s wheel, although the sanctions and blockade are connected solely with the expansion of their aggression against Ukraine. In recent months, gas supply via Nord Stream 1 decreased by 40%, and this morning, the pipeline was shut down for 10-day maintenance.
Given that the German underground gas storage facilities are only 60% full, the Germans fear that Moscow will weaponize energy carriers before the cold season to exert pressure on the EU (although the facilities are being filled ahead of schedule).
The following actions mean that the hydrocarbon blackmail has been taken seriously:
- The European Parliament labeled nuclear power as "green";
- France switches gas boilers to black oil;
- Poland's former energy minister said that Europe was headed for a "perfect storm" this winter;
- In Paris and Berlin, the governments are promoting large-scale campaigns for energy saving.
In addition, maintenance work at 29 units of France’s nuclear power plants, disruptions in the supply of pipeline gas, and the long-running war in Ukraine all contribute to Europe’s vulnerability in view of the oncoming heating season.
That’s why Germany’s chemical industry giants are switching to coal and black oil, escalators and moving staircases in buildings are being turned off, as well as part of the illumination, and the Germans are advised to target a 26°C room temperature in summer to save on cooling.
Militarization and inflation
A number of things are going on at the same time: the militarization of the western flank of NATO, the economic war with Russia and the blockade of Kaliningrad, the food crisis (22% increase in food prices as predicted by the World Bank), record inflation in a quarter-century in many countries (in Poland — 15.6% in June, in the UK — 9.1% in May), the energy crisis, and the crisis related to the migrants from the Middle East and Ukrainian refugees.
All this is a combustible mixture, which can be set off by a single spark. It’s the quads that haven't been made in Europe since the 1970s, marked by the global energy crisis and nuclear missiles aimed at each other from both sides of the "iron curtain".
However, despite economic losses and threats, the EU is still providing massive aid to Kyiv and spending more than €200 billion to phase out Russian fossil fuels by 2027. The Cold War 2.0 is unfolding.