Petulant Putin Threatens to Cut Off Gas to Europe
You can tell just how desperate Vladimir Putin is getting by how belligerent the Kremlin’s behavior is getting, and this week was no exception.
The Moscow madman began his invasion of Ukraine by tricking his own army into going, and then, as the Ukrainians began to mercilessly beat the Russian troops back to where they came from, Putin began resorting to war crimes.
Now, in the sort of threat that could bring NATO back into the fold, Putin is suggesting that Europe might be in for a cold, cold winter.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is demanding foreign buyers pay for Russian gas in roubles from Friday or else have their supplies cut, a move European capitals rejected and which Germany said amounted to “blackmail”.
Putin’s decree on Thursday leaves Europe facing the prospect of losing more than a third of its gas supply. Germany, the most heavily reliant on Russia, has already activated an emergency plan that could lead to rationing in Europe’s biggest economy.
The Russian “president” made the threats himself.
Putin said buyers of Russian gas “must open rouble accounts in Russian banks. It is from these accounts that payments will be made for gas delivered starting from tomorrow,” or April 1.Advertisement - story continues below
“If such payments are not made, we will consider this a default on the part of buyers, with all the ensuing consequences. Nobody sells us anything for free, and we are not going to do charity either – that is, existing contracts will be stopped,” he said in televised remarks.
The stern request was made necessary after western sanctions completely decimated the value of the rouble.
And while this may mark one of the most extreme rebuttals to yet come from Moscow, without going nuclear, this is the most powerful threat the Kremlin has left.