U.S. could use Navy for ‘blockade’ to hamper Russian energy exports – Interior Secretary
RT / BATTLE FOR WORLD – September 30, 2018: The article highlights Washington can “if necessary” resort to its Navy to prevent Russian energy hitting the markets, including in the Middle East, U.S. Internal Secretary Ryan Zinke has revealed, as cited by Washington Examiner.
Zinke alleged that Russia’s engagement in Syria – notably, where it is operating at the invitation of the legitimate government – is a pretext to explore new energy markets.
“I believe the reason they are in the Middle East is they want to broker energy just like they do in eastern Europe, the southern belly of Europe,” Zinke has reportedly said.
“The United States has that ability, with our Navy, to make sure the sea lanes are open, and, if necessary, to blockade … to make sure that their [Russia’s] energy does not go to market,” according to Zinke.
“The economic option on Iran and Russia is, more or less, leveraging and replacing fuels,” Zinke said, while referring to Russia as a “one trick pony” with an economy dependent on fossil fuels.
“I believe we share the view that energy cannot be a tool to exercise pressure and that consumers should be able to choose the suppliers,” said Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak following a meeting with U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry in Moscow in September.
And Dieter Kempf, head of the Federation of German Industries said, “I have a big problem when a third state interferes in our energy supply.”
Naval blockade would mean ‘war’: Moscow slams US idea of hampering Russian trade
RT / BATTLE FOR WORLD – September 30, 2018: The article highlights, attempts to use the US Navy to block Russia’s trade would amount to a declaration of war, a high-ranking senator commented on the US internal secretary’s idea of impeding Russia’s energy trade through a blockade.
“A US blockade of Russia would be equal to a declaration of war under international law,” said the head of the Russian Senate’s Information Policy Committee, Aleksey Pushkov, commenting on a report that US Internal Secretary Ryan Zinke suggested the US could use the navy to block Russian energy from hitting Middle East markets.
Attempts to exert pressure on Russia “are not going to end in anything good,” a member of the Russian Senate’s Defense and Security Committee, Franz Klintsevich, told journalists, adding that they would lead “to a major scandal” at the very least, and Washington “should clearly understand it.”
Russian MPs called Zinke’s words “disturbing.” “It is unsettling that our partners once again resort to threats, sanctions and unfriendly actions instead of discussing the pressing international issues,” a member of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, Anton Morozov, said
The US is not focusing on the energy trade alone, as it has also threatened to impose sanctions on countries buying Russian arms in what could be another example of competition between the two nations.