putinWinter is coming. And the colder it gets, the stronger the hand that Russian President Vladimir Putin holds in his negotiations with Ukraine and the West.

Russia cut gas exports to Ukraine this summer over a price dispute, and the country faces a severe energy crisis in the winter unless an agreement can be reached. The EU is also involved in negotiations (which are due to resume in the next few weeks) because over 30% of all natural gas consumed in the EU comes from Russia, of which about 80% reaches European consumers via pipelines through Ukraine.

In other words, unless Russia resumes supplies to Ukraine it could lead to shortages in Europe. Anticipating the threat (and remembering when Russia cut gas supplies to Ukraine in 2006 and 2009) the EU has been building up reserves of gas so it is better prepared than the last time Russia turned off the tap.

We had a comment sent in from Giuseppe, however, who thought it would be foolish for Russia to seriously threaten winter gas cuts:

Russia won’t use its gas reserves as a political tool. If it is true that [30%] of gas in Europe is provided by Russia, it is also true that Russia gains a lot from it and I do not think they want to lose their huge European revenues.

Roughly half of Russia’s total budget revenue comes from the sale of gas and oil. Would the Kremlin really put this at risk? We put Giuseppe’s comment to Ihor Dolhov, Ukraine’s ambassador to NATO, when we interviewed him earlier this year:

We also put this comment to Miroslav Lajčák, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, when we spoke to him around the same time. Would he agree with Giuseppe’s comment?

Miroslav_LajcakYes, I would. Because, however tempting it might be, you can use the “gas weapon” only once. If you do it once, you are done, and no-one will trust you anymore in the future. And, as rightly stated, Russia needs its revenues from the gas exports as much as we need Russian gas. So, I don’t expect Russian gas exports to be misused in this ongoing confrontation.

Finally, we also had a comment sent in by Marek. He thought the current crisis was actually an opportunity for Europe to switch to more sustainable sources for its energy needs:

The EU needs to be less dependent [on Russian energy by investing in] green cars, wind power, etc.

Earlier this summer, we put Marek’s comment to Martin Lidegaard, the current Danish Foreign Minister (and former Minister of Climate and Energy) for him to answer:

Could Russia really switch off Europe’s gas this winter, or will Putin not risk scaring away his EU customers? Is the crisis with Russia actually an opportunity for Europe to switch to more sustainable energy sources? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Jedimentat44

103 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Gabor Molnar

    I’m not sure about that, but if he will, that probably will mean the start of the WWIII.

  2. avatar
    Steve Patriarca

    Of course he will or will use it to blackmail Europe. The optimum time for him to invade the rest of Southern Ukraine will be just at the outset of winter – before it gets too cold and difficult for troop movements. One hopes Europe’s leaders have secret plans to deal with this but one really does wonder about their overall level of competence and judgement. It could get very cold in Europe this winter – unless Germany in particular simply capitulates to Russian demands. This is the position our EU leaders have placed us in. The word “traitors” would come to mind if you can commit “treason” against a Community rather than a nation.

  3. avatar
    Diogo Pais

    I think yes.
    And I hope he do it, for some rich countries in the north of EU starts to look at the pipes of Iberia.

  4. avatar
    Alex Sekkpefb

    He wont, it would be like cutting the branch underneath his own feet. He should be in a mental health institution.

  5. avatar
    Tamás Csiszár

    The option to switch off the gas delivery to Europe is the final solution. The gas export to Europe is a significant income (68% of Russian export – 350 billion USD) to Russia, which obviously would harm both sides.

  6. avatar
    Mitja Sabadin

    Guys, this is way too simplifying, Russia is also dependent on export of fossil fuels as the EU is dependent on its import. And besides that, The EU has with Russia long term contracts about the import of natural gas, this is not as easy as it seems…
    The problem is how to deliver this gas to Europe, as the situation in Ukraine is unstable and the South Stream is blocked.

  7. avatar
    Marko Sucic

    EU and Russia fighting, making embargos and hurting their economies…..while US is enjoying the view from renewed NATO, excelent policy I must say. Meddling in Ukraine was the best strategy to keep EU and Russia appart, and for whose benefit? Keeping the transatlantic bond stronger then euroasian one….imagine if russia, china and Eu would become strong partners? Who would need USA?

    • avatar

      Putler should stay the hell away from Ukraine.
      THEN we can talk.

  8. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    When one gets into monopolies (or close) this is what happens. I wonder why politicians have not quite understood this. EU needs to get into renewables big time and end this monkey business.

  9. avatar

    Would Putin really dare to switch off Europe’s gas?

    Finally $100 question. I think Putin has the guts to do it, I have no emotions regarding his decision. The real issue here is the thin line between diplomacy and economy. If this move is possible to be done with less damage for russian economy, I’m pretty sure that this one is his first priority. Otherwise it will take longer but with the same results. Sooner or later Putin will turn off the nozzle. There are millions other factors to be taken in the account though, as China, global gas price, USA, Iran, Iraq, Libya or everything that might stay in the way of gas coming to Europe, so it looks live a very complex issue. Europe should seriously consider a Plan B, fracking as an alternative to russian gas and reopening the old coal mines asap.

  10. avatar
    Debating Europe

    ???????? ?????? – In what way is this not serious? Russian gas supplies to Ukraine were cut in 2006 and 2009, leading to supply shortages in several EU member states. Russian gas supplies to Ukraine have been cut since June, and negotiations to resume them are currently ongoing.

    We spoke to the foreign ministers of Denmark and Slovakia, as well as the Ukrainian Ambassador to NATO – all of whom took the question very seriously. We’re looking to speak to representatives of the Russian government to also get a comment from them.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      @Debating Europe

      ………….”as well as the Ukrainian Ambassador to NATO”………?

      It is understood that: ‘normally’ each NATO member is represented on the North Atlantic Council by an “Ambassador” or “Permanent Representative”.

      We also know that NATO cooperates with a range of international organizations and countries in different structures, like:

      *Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) e.g. “Ukraine”
      *NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue
      *Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI)
      *Partners across the globe
      *3 International Organizations

      By implication, you have elevated Ukraine to the 29th de facto NATO member. Not so? NATO already delivers “weapons” to Kiev- not officially- but by the backdoor, using individual NATO members as a “smart way out”. What’s the difference? How militant is that & why not use (shuttle) diplomacy- or the NRC (NATO- Russia- Council) first? Communism has failed, was abolished & replaced with a market driven economy- even by Russia.

      NATO members where ‘encouraged’ to donate at least 2% of their GDP recently. Meant to boost its war chest for more NATO/US/Corporate geopolitical adventures? What’s the point of all these- diplomacy void- expensive wrangling- sacrificing more human life instead?

    • avatar
      panchenko larisa

      Debating Europa, what you are looking for Russian representatives, they were always ready to negotiate, it’s Ukrainian side, it was not to negotiate, that is something they did not like. At the same time it has a huge debt to Russia for gas. Dropout in 2006, 2009 (in fact limit) were due to huge debts and theft of gas which meant Europe. This fact is recorded European consumers. Russia has no purpose, no gas to Europe. Ukraine just need to pay the debt, not to steal gas. And finally sign a contract for the supply of gas. Everything just is not it? And here Russia has no political goals, as this has been going on for a long time, pay attention to the years you specify. I am working as a taxpayer does not want that to Ukraine received for our gas taxes. And do you want?

  11. avatar
    Владимир Павлов

    This picture is not serious. It belongs to the meme section of the internet, not a ”serious” webpage ”debating europe”. Also, the supplies were cut off because the Ukranian government did not pay/was late on payments, not because it was politically motivated.

  12. avatar
    George Danieldsg

    There is no any excuse for sanctions from anybody.Ukraine has peace and Russia is not threatens any country.

  13. avatar
    Debating Europe

    ???????? ?????? We understand your criticism and will bear it in mind in future. However, from our side, we would point out that President Putin is not shy of engaging in photo opportunities that portray him as a “man of action” (riding with a motorcycle club, hunting bare-chested, etc.).

    As to the debate itself, we will try to put your comment to somebody involved in the dispute during a future interview and see how they respond.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Debating Europe:

      I would not worry about the pic fo Putin, it does him justice and could have a line beneath it asking:

      ‘Don’t you wish your leader was hot like me. ‘

      The Russians are lucky to have one with a level head.

      We have one called Cameron who adores snaps of himself hugging a husky on our tabloids, and an opposition head who doesn’t know how to stay clean when eating a bacon sandwich for his PR shots. The second also has to tag a London spiv around with him as the potential deputy should they find themselves elected next year.

      Woe is us.

  14. avatar
    Richard Osborne

    I doubt that he’d shut off the gas, but I have no doubt that there will be ‘accidents’ causing massive disruption but not breaching contractual obligations. In essence, denying supply but being legally enabled to enforce payment.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Richard Osborne
      Well said!

  15. avatar
    Alex Tselentis

    Has every single right doing so, hopefully for the EU hes not some rogue wild irrational baboon like those in US who created this FALSE crisis, the EU is run by the US .. Europe and Russia simply cannot be freindly neighbours, thats to much of a threat to the US, thus theyve started a war in Ukraine .. This whole CIRCUS SHOW should never have happened in the first place, lets all hope its not a cold winter.

  16. avatar
    George Danieldsg

    @debating Europe.”riding with a motorcycle club, hunting bare-chested” describes a sportsman in good fitness ,to swich off Europe s gas is an act with heavy results for the world economy.Mr Putin is a very clever man and elected President with huge popularity of a superpower.No further comment.

  17. avatar
    Rafael Cejas Acuña

    I’m currently doing my thesis about this issue, so I’ve read a these last months about the sum-zero foreign policy of Russia…but at the same time, how dependent the Russian State is from the energy revenues. The long-term contracts between Russia and some of the richest european countries like Germany or Italy, and the massive investments of the Nord Stream pipeline make me think about how improbable an eventual interruption would be. Anyway, the diversification of the energy supplies is a hot topic in the European Union since several years. Projects like TAP, which would carry natural gas from Azerbaijan, is a strong bet from the European Commission after the failure of Nabucco. And Russia itself began with a diversification program, looking for new clients like China.

  18. avatar
    Emjay wahome

    At the end of the Russia and EU should enjoy their interdependence.

  19. avatar
    Mikko Karjalainen

    George, Russia is not superpower. Economic size of Italy, nuclear power like France or UK. Almost completely unable to act beyond own borders. Definitely not a superpower.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Mikko Karjalainen
      Whatever taxonomy you adhere to – Putin[Russia] has nuclear weapons + a big ego + is unpredictable.

      The above equation suggests TROUBLE!

  20. avatar
    Tiago Ferrao

    could we try to estimate the financial benefits of promoting further energy independence from gas and oil? not only we would get free from russia as well as we would stop sponsoring terrorism based economies. How much money is that?

  21. avatar
    Nuno Ramos

    Bring back Presseurop.eu

    It was the best website this union will ever be. And there was a clear intention of manipulation. As of Russia I believe he will. Putin is becoming quite offensive.

    I don’t like Europe as it is now, but I hate how Russia is.

  22. avatar
    Akos Tarkanyi

    The idiotic leaders of main EU member states (Merkel, Holland, Cameron) seem to provoke Russia and force it towards such a step. They accused and demonized Russsia and Putin for the same thing the EU and NATO based the legitmacy of the war against Serbia upon: the ethnicity as a moral basis for independence. A war could be fought against Serbia because the Albanian Kosovo has a right to independence on an ethnical basis. But predominantly Russian Eastern-Ukraine has no such right and if they think otherways it is so “obviously” only by the manipulation of “that crazy evil dictator Putin”. I have never seen more idiotic and more obviously false political and media hysteria in the EU. And never more dangerous and mistaken one.

  23. avatar
    Ioannis Koutoudis

    He would. Not sure for how long, but he would test the strengths of EU and Russia. It will be a good practice for other similar situations.

  24. avatar
    João De Lalanda Frazão

    Well, only if we let it. That’s a last case scenario that only predicts regional war thereafter. A scenario reached only if all parties involved let it happen.
    As it was said, there’s a lot of mega projects between the Duma and European counterparts. So, we should bear in mind the considerations of both Brussels and Moscow (and PLEASE, let the White House OUT OF IT! I bet that if Obama hasn’t meddled in, the conflict would never have reached the ongoing proportions), when dealing with Ukraine and the gas issue.
    But yes!, we should start to move pretty fast to a green based market, otherwise these kind of shortages will become a political gun in the short term, given that the majority of oil powered states are hardly pro West. And yes, Brussels turn your attention to the Iberia!

  25. avatar

    It is a fact that he will use no matter what means he has to strengthen his position, so maybe some of the countries in Europe will suffer from the lack of gas. But I am pretty sure he is not ready yet to give on European money and technology.

  26. avatar

    ”Would Putin really dare to switch off Europe’s gas?”
    There is a reason why the EU has not Sanctioned Russia’s gas and why Russia has not switched off Europe’s gas, one wants to be able to cook food, have a warm house come winter time and their industries to be able to function and the other wants profits and access to one of the biggest markets in the world. Plus such a act from either side could theoreticly be considered an act of war. Switching off Ukraine’s gas is not =Europe, Ukraine cant pay its bills so it doesn’t deserve the product the Russians are selling, or does someone expect Russia to give away its natural resources for FREE! LOL.
    As a Swiss I say both the EU & USA and Russia need to come down from the path to confrontation and sit at a table like civilized people and work something out.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      Except, S.K. you are forgetting one very important matter, the US desperately needs this tug of war with Russia with the Ukraine stuck nicely in the middle, which is why they started it in the first place. It draws attention from their world at war policy throughout the Middle East, keeping the eyes off the genocide they are funding and backing in Israel. It also gives them the ‘black hat’ criminal of Russia to blame for their total incompetence on, and it keeps those hurry come ups around the Russian borders open to accepting their very expensive nuclear bases they love to sell the dumb. Europeans who think NATO is worth the money for the old protection racket racket they are playing are duped into believing their ‘we’ll stand by you nonsense they like to play. However, they don’t have Michael to convince them in quite the same way. LOL.

      I must say this though, in the opening of the thread is a great pic of Putin, he will love it. It portrays him as the ‘poon hound’ mover and shaker of the global set he likes to sell. LOL. You have to give it to him, he hangs in there, regardless, and keeps the Russian people loving him for it.

      The White House simply can’t do that. No matter how they try. Well not since Kennedy, the real thing. All their presidents are grunge freaks, especially this last one. The amazonian wife is a great asset, as are the two unfortunate sisters. Americans must be dying inside at this one. After all said and done, no matter what an ass Cameron may be, his wife stands by respectfully and keeps her head down. What grace.

  27. avatar
    Charalambos Cherkezos

    The question is not if he has the guts to do it but if he does where is the EU gonna get gas from and at what prices and at whose benefit ?

  28. avatar
    Maia Alexandrova

    Putin has already answered that question – Russia has no intention of doing so. The problem is if Ukraine decides to steal again the gas destined for Europe. I think in this case Russia will simply continue with the deliveries but will advise EU to look for its missing quantities in Ukraine.

  29. avatar
    Antinazi Archimedes

    It’s not about Putin. It’s about the Wolfowitz doctrine that sees the Zionist controlled Anglo-American empire as the only empire on earth to rule all other countries.

  30. avatar
    catherine benning

    As far as the gas and oil pipeline are concerned, if the Ukraine doesn’t pay its bill, currently to the tune of 18 billion Euro, or, whatever currency they are dealing in, yes he will. But, only when it serves to best effect. He’s not going to fall for the ‘bad guy’ label the yanks like to propagate.

    He is leaving them to soak in their own brown stuff. And quite rightly. As it must be ready to hit the fan the minute he decides to open the real story of the MH17 fiasco, created in the hope of selling him as Orwell’s criminal Goldstein.

    So, hold onto your hats, we ain’t seen nothing yet.


  31. avatar
    George Danieldsg

    There is crisis with USA not Russia.In order among other tasks to cut cheap gas from Russia and Central Asia to Europe.

  32. avatar
    Dan Florin

    green energy is not so green as it is advertised…. better some economy on fuel consumption and more ingenious building solutions and recycling

  33. avatar
    Tamás Csiszár

    Sustainable consumption (wether we talk about consumer products or energy) is not a business for our corporate society. Not to mention the lobby these companies do both in Brussels and nation states. We need to destroy our environment first, but then it will be too late.

  34. avatar
    John Foscolos

    I believe it is the only way Europe will learn its lesson, not following the US into the destruction of country after country.

  35. avatar
    Børge Rahbech Jensen

    It doesn’t really matter. So far, it is not Vlademir Putin but EU who are said to plan switching off Europe’s gas.

  36. avatar
    Peter Cartwright

    What has not been mentioned is why? I don’t think Russia and Putin want to turn off the gas, but they are owed over $5bn in gas supplied to Ukraine! The EU have tried to put the mockers on the south stream, which would give Europe an alternative transit route through “stable” countries, such as Bulgaria and Serbia. The reason why Russia turned the taps off in 2006 and 2008 was because Ukraine were siphoning off gas which was meant for Europe and they had not paid their bill then! The EU should get strongly behind the south stream project to get it finished in conjunction with Russia, Bulgaria and other transit countries and this would be a none issue. Of course Ukraine still has it’s outstanding bill to pay, which it will take years to do as their economy goes down the pan and the Ukrainian people will have to suffer austerity worse than the Greeks for decades! The EU should should just let Ukraine get “repossessed” by Mother Russia who are the only ones who can save the country after 23 years of total economic mismanagement.

  37. avatar
    Ruggero Roma

    Se la Russia ha appena fatto contratti di fornitura del gas con Cina, Mongolia e India, non credo che possa aver timore di tagliare le forniture alla “ricca” Europa. Anche perchè, insieme ai cinesi, con i preziosi “euro” che ricava dal gas, ci ricompra titoli di Stato spagnoli, italiani, greci, portoghesi, che stanno ripagando gli interessi dei loro “titoli” con tagli ai servizi sanitari e scolastici, giovanile e di padri di famiglia, sfratti e pignoramenti delle case e dei negozi dei loro cittadini. A Roma, capitale d’Italia e sede di tutti gli Enti centrali e decentrati italiani hanno chiuso 72 mila negozi in 2 anni.
    Quindi se Putin taglia il gas, aggraverà ancora di più la situazione della UE, soprattutto la UE “latina”, quella UE che non ha centrali nucleari, e l’aggraverà PER COMPRARSI titoli bancari, e questo causerà altra decrescita e deflazione. E’ la “legge” che si è data la UE e la BCE che ci distruggerà, regole “economiche” suicide, che non prevedono Sovranità monetaria, che danno alla Polonia la possibilità di crescere con l’Euro, e agli Italiani la certezza di morire con l’euro, fabbriche “italiane” in crisi pilotata, comprate da “cinesi” che delocalizzano in Polonia, e le eccellenze turistiche, paesaggistiche, culturali, enogastronomiche, ingegneristiche, i sacrifici dei nostri vecchi e il futuro dei nostri figli nella spazzatura.

  38. avatar
    Richard Osborne

    I doubt that he would but we have to remember, and this is critical, that we supported the overthrow of a duly elected democratic government in the Ukraine becuase it chose of it’s own free will to develop stronger ties with Russia. Is it really any wonder we’re in this fix right now?

  39. avatar
    Iliya Godev

    And the other question is – will he really close Russian air space for flights from EU owned and operated carriers?

  40. avatar
    Frederico Azevedo

    I actually dedicate one chapter of my MA thesis upon the issue if the russian politization of its natural gas flows, and I’ve concluded:
    1- Although, EU are dependent up to 30% of the total imports on russian gas (~ 200 bcm in 2013 accordingly to BP Statistical review), the acquired revenues from the NG sales to EU represent a too large portion of the export revenues found in the Moscow’s balance of trade. Therefore, it envolves an huge economic expenditure to directly disrupt the NG supply to Europe.
    2 – Kremlin does use his energy flows as a political leverage tool, but since it’s a geopolitical mechanism, its usage depends on the geographical closeness to Russia itself. Since the fact that, the closer are the countries, more they depend upon russian NG supplies, it’s more easy to use the political leverage in East Europe and Central Europe than to France, as example.
    3 – For these economic and geopolitical reasons it’s too expensive for the russian state to attend for a direct disruption towards the european markets. However, there is a huge lack of rational and thus, predictability behind some of the Putin’s actions, regarding not only his foreign policy, but also his energy policy.
    Other chapters:
    4 – Althought the North-South West Corridor is a Project of Common Interest for the european institutions, its feasibility raises some conditions. Namely of the geographical nature. The pipeline interconnection between Iberia and France is constricted to a few small passages in the Pyrenees. Adding to the fact, that Algeria and the Maghreb region poses some risks of disruption, due the establishment of some terrorists groups and their recent pipeline infrastructure targeting.
    5 – Regarding all this complex situation, EU turned itself for the Southern Corridor, furthering its diplomatic envolvement with some of the Caspian States (Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan), in order to diversify its suppliers. The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline has a tremendous strategic importance for the future consuption of NG in Europe. Let’s hope someday, the southern corridor also reaches tremendous quantitative relevance.
    If you have an interest in furthering these issues, please visit: naturalgaseurope.com

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      @Frederico Azevedo, Peter Cartwright, Richard Osborne – Hi!

      Interesting! How many shades of gray? 50, 1,000 or unanswerable?

      1) Every sane country will/should utilize its known natural, human & financial resources to its fullest. Some do however shoot themselves in their feet at times for many obscure reasons.

      It shows in Russia’s move to sign a $400-billion deal to supply natural gas to China for $10-$11 per million Btu a unit- which is cheaper than the price in some markets in Western Europe and much cheaper than the price of $12-$15 at which India imports gas.

      I think Russia will let the EU do the “foot shooting” instead. Putin, Obama & the EC are not yet full dictators and all are accountable to some sort of parliament & eventually their voters- tuff luck though!

      2&3) There is also a “pipeline war” besides a revolution in the Ukraine. South Stream is a Russian gas pipeline project- visa the Nabucco-West pipeline (seemed dead & buried- resurrected?)


      Russia is blessed with too much oil & gas & will leverage & build on it. Is quite sensible! All shrewd politicians use- for special effects- the magic of political leverage. Ask the global master US!

      4&5) One need to follow the changing fortunes of several gas line projects (participating countries & global corporations) of the past & future- designed to avoid Ukraine, to utilize new resources, due to its unstable relations with Russia- its aging gas line network and the huge costs for rehabilitation. Ukraine is maneuvering & hoping to lure & entice western investors & the EU to pay for it & the US is waging Ukraine’s and the EU’s tail all the time.

      This is another reason to for them to seek a quick passage into the ‘still richer’ (for how long?) EU member stable- while crying “bad boy Russia”! Hoping, the EU will have mercy; carry the risk & the financial burden- to the detriment of mainly the EU15 citizen!

      But- no ways EC/EU- be reminded- you forgot to asked your EU15 voters who are watching you! Frederico- couldn’t you actually write several different thesis’s about this subject?

  41. avatar
    Frederico Azevedo

    @EU Reform- Proactive

    Yes indeed. Although, mine focus the role of Baku for the improvement of the european NG supply security through the Southern Corridor (TAP), I have to contextualize some parts of the current european dependency scenario.

    Moreover, it’s very interesting to see the effects comming from the recent diplomatic dispute between Moscow and Kiev. Putin was forced to deal with the chinese market with a lot lower price margins comparing to the EU (since the negotiations for a russian pipe with Beijing lasted several years). More than ever, Putin experienced the commercial risks and downturns of his geopolitical plays. Although, this episode is just the tip of the iceberg, it may expose the beggining of the economic negative consequences which will affect russian economy in the long term (e.g. underinvestiment on critical exploration infrastructures, reduced income to payback the expensive pipelines projects, as Nord Stream, etc).

    • avatar

      A very fair point…

  42. avatar

    Would Putin really dare to switch off Europe’s gas?

    He already did it.

  43. avatar

    Yes, I think he would. He is already doing things that you would not expect from a prudent European politician so, he would do that too.

  44. avatar

    He might be left with no other option anyway, as Rosneft is going to be bankrupt after the latest round of sanctions. It’s a good job I’ve got electric :-)!

  45. avatar

    Gotta love the Putler apologists – EVEN here!
    Where are the clowns saying we should not invest in green energy so I can tear them a new one?

    Of course he will. Maybe he should start by cutting off the cowardly germans who stalled sanctions as much as possible to serve their selfish needs.
    Or maybe the BACKSTABBING french who – despite uproar – have supplied Hitler 2 with two modern warships.

  46. avatar

    As Margaret Thatcher stated, there is no choice. Europe has no other options to Russian gas and energy. It means stop biting the feeding hand or else.

  47. avatar
    stefano angeli

    I don’t think Russia could really cut european supplies of gas. Russia economy is depending on the money coming from the selling of gas to Europe much more than Europe’s need of that supplies. There’s no alternative costumer for Russia ready to buy the same amount of gas at the same price. Putin can use the subject just to try to manipulate european pubblic opinion, but he’s definitely bluffing.

    • avatar
      panchenko larisa

      Excuse me, Russian and not Putin talks on gas. Russia fulfills its obligations to Europe on gas and going to fulfill them in the future. The problem with the transit countries – Ukraine. She does not pay, she steals gas in Europe. South Stream you yourself are blocking. Where is the logic? Or do you just important to discuss Putin and not the problem itself, which arises not his fault and not the fault of Russia?

  48. avatar
    panchenko larisa

    lDear Commissioner and the citizens of Europe. Explain to me a simple citizen of Russia, working regularly paying taxes. Why?
    1. I and my people must needs (even formally) to pay the debts of the politically and economically unstable state of Ukraine.
    2. it is the government of Ukraine simply deceive his people, my people, and I think European countries and does not pay for the debts that they have for quite a long time.
    3. Why the state proclaiming fascist slogans is supported in Europe, Why is my state has to make concessions in price for gas, the state (Ukraine) which does not pay debts? Allowing yourself not diplomaticheskii, spiteful and deceitful statements against Russia.
    Know the people of Russia against the support of the fascist state!
    Do not believe them, they kill their own people in the Donbass, and you give them money!
    If you want to help not democratic, false the government of Ukraine, please do it for the money of its citizens. I have Ukrainian roots and have lived in Ukraine before, you have no idea what they did with the country and people, this is a disaster. They need to stop.

  49. avatar

    Switching off gas occured in the past due to clear theft:
    1. Russia cut-off supplies to Ukraine due to the fact the latter had not paid for previous supplies
    2. Ukraine decided to cut off supply of Russian gas to bordering EU countries instead of leaving its own population without gas in mid-winter (avoiding thus a rebelion against the regime)
    3. Central Europe experienced gas shortages due to this theft by Ukraine
    This has been the case in 2006 and 2009.
    There is no reason why not to experience it again since the bankrupt Ukrainian regime backed by the EU refuses to fullfill its economic obligations vs GASPROM

    Avoiding such a deadlock, the EU shall guarantee direct payment of Ukrainian gas consumption to GASPROM. Simple solution! (expansionist policies always bear hidden costs)

  50. avatar

    The EU should buy gas from Gazprom jointly, instead of different Member States negotiating individually. If this is in breach of Single Market rules, then the rules clearly need to be changed.

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