Russia’s economy is fueled by energy, especially natural gas exports to Europe. That could be an important tool in the arsenal used in Ukraine — and either side can play it.
- Russia is the top natural gas supplier to Europe.
- Europe could halt or limit its natural gas supply from Russia to apply pressure in the Ukraine conflict.
- Even though it would be painful to its economy, Russia might do it first to retaliate against other sanctions.
With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine having begun, the U.S and its allies are reviewing the additional, heavy sanctions that it can levy.
The biggest weapon for both sides may be a commodity that most homeowners take for granted — natural gas.
Here’s what’s at stake:
Ukraine isn’t a member of NATO and there is no appetite so far to confront Russia militarily over its invasion. Instead, the allies have chosen to try to squeeze Russia economically, hoping that Russians will be so dismayed over the state of their economy that President Vladimir Putin will back off.
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