Putin given 'vast power' over European economies says expert
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Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has a ‘vast amount of power’ over European economies, according to political commentator Nico Hines. The Daily Beast’s World Editor has told France 24 The World This Week that the current energy crisis has exposed Europe’s over-dependency on Russian gas supplies. He argued that European reliance on the Kremlin for natural gas will only grow when the NordStream2 pipeline begins operations.
Mr Hines told France24: “In Europe, we have got ourselves into this position where almost the entire continent is reliant on Russia’s gas supply.
“Up until now, the Russians have been pretty careful about making sure at least northwest Europe, us the big investors, get a good clean supply of gas from then and it is never been interrupted over the years that we have relied upon them.
“But if you look at what they have done to countries they are in competition or conflict with them, so in Ukraine or the Baltic states suddenly for either an explicit reason or for some secretive reason that we are not told about suddenly the supply gets cut or cut back to those nations.
“Those nations feel a huge crippling impact and we have given the Kremin such vast amount of power over our entire economies.”
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He continued: “If they wanted to cut off the gas supply to Europe it would have a huge and devastating effect.
“You look at a problem with a few truckers are missing and we have got chaos in the streets.
“Imagine what would happen if the Russians actually made a concerted effort to harm us with this gas supply.”
Earlier this week, political columnist Trevor Kavanagh has warned Putin “has Europe and its gas suppliers by the short and curlies.”
Gas prices: Putin ‘going to keep squeezing’ says expert
Mr Kavanagh told TalkRADIO that Russia has kept a tight grip on supply as the price of gas surges by more than 10 percent.
He argued that the current gas shortage crisis could escalate as Europe heads into winter, and added: “It’s possible Vladimir Putin, who is going to keep squeezing.”
Mr Kavanagh told TalkRADIO: “I think this is just the beginning.
“We haven’t seen anything yet.
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“Oil prices are going up that is good for him anyway. Gas prices are going up too.
“So he has nothing to lose,” he added.
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