Russia’s economy is largely based on exports of oil and natural gas. A recent report referenced in The Moscow Times suggested that Russia could see up to $2 Trillion in oil and gas assets “stranded” as a result of a worldwide push towards renewable energy. The Ukraine is said to be interested in becoming a leader in the production of Green Hydrogen, and is seeking international funding to help develop the infrastructure needed to make that happen. Could Russia’s interest in Ukraine be motivated by a desire to preserve the value of their own hydrocarbon assets by destroying a potential green energy competitor?
This perspective presents an interesting opportunity for the Biden Administration. There’s no question that Vladimir Putin has a reputation for being a thug and employing mafia-like tactics. Biden should make public statements accusing Putin of wanting to invade Ukraine for the financial benefit of wealthy Russian oligarchs. Biden should appeal to the Russian people by making statements like: “Putin isn’t just making war on NATO he’s making war on his own people and treating them like pawns who can be thrown out for the benefit of his billionaire friends.” Russians are already notorious for being fatalistic and angry at the corruption of their leaders, so that kind of rhetoric could help drive internal opposition to a war in Ukraine.
Additionally, Biden could target his political opponents in the US with comments like: “And the GOP is on the side of the Russians. They’re with Putin, they don’t want to see green energy development in Eastern Europe either. What’s good for the Russian oligarchs is good for the GOP. If the oligarchs don’t have to compete for energy markets in Europe then they get to give more money to the State Policy Network so they can buy more Republicans here in the US.”
There are sometimes situations in politics where instead of spending too much time worrying if something is true, you’re best off to just assume it’s true and use certain information to your advantage. President Biden can turn the tide in Russia to his favor by accusing Putin of invading Ukraine for the benefit of Russia’s oligarch billionaires. He can undermine Republican mischief-making by pointing to financial ties between the Russia and GOP, and if the Russians continue to get tough in the Ukraine, Biden can simply say that if Russia tries to invade Ukraine then the United States will work with the European Union and Nato to see to it that alternative energy development in Europe reaches such a level that the Russian economy will be crushed in short order.