Russia’s importance as a supplier of natural gas to Europe may look like an asset for Moscow, as demonstrated by Europe’s inaction over Russia’s occupation of Crimea. Over the long term, however, that relationship could become a significant liability, and one that Europe can try to exploit.
In 2013, Russia sent 162 billion cubic meters of natural gas to European countries outside the former Soviet Union — about 30 percent of Europe’s total consumption. That makes many leaders in Europe sensitive to changes in Russia’s willingness to cut the supply of natural gas. Over short periods, Russia’s ability to turn off the gas is indeed a formidable weapon.… Seguir leyendo »