The Slog

putinchessptNew sensation as EU’s access to heat drops by 60%

A new stage of unravelling – thanks to Washington effing about with the oil price – has just begun in Eastern Europe.

5 hours ago, Russia cut off all gas supplies to Ukraine. Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian state energy giant Gazprom to cut supplies to and through Ukraine, cutting gas exports to Europe by 60% at a stroke.

The immediate reason given – Ukraine ‘stealing’ gas – may or may not be true: but the dominant geopolitical motive wasn’t hard to spot as Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller added that Russia plans to shift all its natural gas flows crossing Ukraine to a route via Turkey. Translated into English colloquially, the rough translation that applies here is “Up yours, Washington”.

The back-footed sprouts in Brussels reacted by having a hissy fit along the lines of the Russian move being “unacceptable”…

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