China Presents Russia With an Escape Hatch on Sanctions
Beijing could help make up for Russia’s lost gas sales to Europe if Putin invades
EVER SINCE the Ukraine crisis began heating up several months ago with the massing of Russian troops on the country’s borders, President Joe Biden has repeatedly threatened Moscow with “enormous” economic sanctions if it invades the neighboring former Soviet Republic. But as the United States and the European Union debate what those sanctions should be, China, now Russia’s most important ally, stands poised to undercut them.
One important measure China could take to help Vladimir Putin blunt U.S. retribution for an invasion is to increase purchases of Russian gas to help make up for lost energy sales to Europe.
Putin and China’s Xi Jinping will spend a "lot of time" discussing ramifications of the Ukraine crisis when they meet for talks next week, the Kremlin said on Friday.
The Biden administration is pressuring Germany not to give final regulatory approval to open the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia and leaning on other European governments to stop buying Russian energy if Put…