What’s coming next in Putin’s energy war

The war in Ukraine has turned against Russia and its authoritarian president, Vladimir Putin, with Ukrainian forces routing battered Russian units and retaking surprising amounts of turf in northeast Ukraine. But Putin still has some potent weapons he can deploy, and an energy war with the West is erupting in parallel with the military war in Ukraine.

Despite bruising sanctions, Russia remains the world’s third largest exporter of oil and natural gas, and in coming months, Putin seems very likely to test how much leverage that can provide against Ukraine’s American and European allies. Developed nations, led by the United States, are crafting a counteroffensive, to thwart Putin’s effort to extort energy purchasers. Hundreds of millions of consumers are the potential collateral damage if Putin’s energy war inflicts the pain he intends, or the American-led blocking action backfires.

The most urgent threat is Russia’s throttling of natural gas to Europe. Russia has stopped gas…

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This article was written by and originally published on finance.yahoo.com