After weaning themselves off of Russian gas, European countries are no longer susceptible to Vladimir Putin’s manipulation. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and Steven Tian, economists from Yale, have studied Putin’s economy after he invaded Ukraine last February and found that his grip on Europe has weakened.
The figures show that the EU has decreased its imports of gas from Russia by a third since last year.
European countries are switching to other sources of energy, so Russia will have less of a supply of energy. This could have consequences for Russia’s economy and its military in Ukraine.
Mr Sonnenfeld explained that India and China don’t want to pay for Russian gas, since Russia can’t make money from selling it. This means Russia can’t fuel its war machine.
“Russia is also really inefficient in producing oil. They are just barely breaking even in their energy space, which means it cannot fuel Putin’s war machine.”
Mr Tian added: “The most important thing is that Putin’s running out of cards to play, and he is running out of economic relevance.
“All he had was the energy card. He’s played that card and failed. He was banking on a cold winter making Europe freeze and beg for Russian energy again.
“We are never going to need Russian gas again. If Putin thinks he can come back to the table and sell gas to Europe next year, he is in for a rude surprise.
“All that new supply is not going away and Putin won’t be able to recover his lost markets. Putin also tried holding food hostage and failed.