Putin’s Gas Blackmail Plan Is Flawed, Because Russia Needs Europe’s Money: “Don’t Buy It!” | World | New

Russian President Vladimir Putin is using his country’s gas supply to try to force the West to withdraw support for Ukraine. NATO allies have hit Russia with harsh sanctions in a bid to weaken Moscow, and Putin has fought back in recent months. Last week, the Russian gas giant Gazprom further reduced its production to Germany, offering only 20% of the capacity of Nord Stream (the gas pipeline that connects the two countries). This week, Russia completely cut Latvia off from its supply – the Baltic country joins Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, the Netherlands and Denmark who suffered the same fate.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last week accused Putin of “blackmail”.

However, Victoria Vyshnivska of Ukraine’s Independent Anti-Corruption Commission told The Globalist podcast last week that Russia’s plan is unlikely to work.

She cited a study that found that Russia is more dependent on Europe for gas purchases than Europe is for Russian supplies.

Ms Vyshnivska explained: “We’re trying to talk to the world and explain that this kind of geopolitical sabotage shouldn’t work.

“European countries shouldn’t buy it, there was recently a report from Yale University to dig into the sanctions and how they affect Russia and Europe.

“There is one figure to remember – 86% of Russian gas supplies go to Europe, while Europe depends on Russia for only 46% of its gas.

“The rest comes from other countries like Norway and Qatar. Russia depends more on Europe than Europe depends on Russia.”

The Yale University paper, released on July 20, explained that “the importance of raw material exports to Russia far exceeds the importance of Russian raw material exports to the rest of the world.”

Russia will be “most affected” by its plan to cut off gas from Europe, the authors added.

The study was led by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld – he said Russia was also “reeling” from the sanctions.

Stephen Diehl, a Russian analyst, also appeared on The Globalist podcast.

He was asked if it was likely that Russia would continue to “squeeze” Europe’s gas supply.

READ MORE: Putin forced to change tactics as Russian military crumbles once again

He replied: “Most likely, this is all part of Russia’s rather bizarre geopolitical game. There is no doubt that it is political, not technical.

“What really irritates Russia is that the West is not just deposing and ignoring Ukraine, the West is actually sending weapons which are having an increasingly significant effect on the course of the war against Russia.

“They want the Europeans to start worrying and thinking ‘we better be nice to the Russians or they’re going to cut us off’.

“It’s a double-edged sword – Russia can’t just turn off its gas fields, they are still producing gas. If they were to completely turn off the gas, they would have a problem with where to put it.

“They can’t just transfer it to China for example. The gas that goes to China comes from the gas fields in eastern Siberia, and they have to keep it there.”

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On the ground in Ukraine, fighting continued in the east of the country.

After months of Russian offensives, Ukraine is preparing to launch a counter-offensive to try to push back the invading troops.

The conflict has raised fears that the situation could escalate further – if NATO countries were to be drawn into a direct conflict, it would mean a war between nuclear powers.

Today Putin warned that a nuclear conflict should “never break out”.

His comments came in a letter to attendees of a nuclear non-proliferation treaty conference.