Putin’s big gamble to break sanctions


Just a few years ago, many observers dismissed this as a din or symbolism, much like Russia raised a flag at the North Pole in 2007 — 14,000 feet below the surface of the Arctic Ocean.[11]

But over the past decade, freight volumes along the North Sea Route have grown by a factor of 15, thanks in large part to new gas production on the Yamal Peninsula.

“This is absolutely not about mere symbolism,” Klaus Dodds, professor of geography at Royal Holloway University of London, told me. “This is the federation making — I think — a very rational decision, which is that the export potential for gas and oil needs to find other markets given ongoing sanctions and the isolation of Europe and North America.”

The timing seems similarly calculated. Two months later Siberia As he left the port, Putin recognized two breakaway regions of Ukraine as independent nations and ordered troops into the region. In response, Chancellor Olaf Schultz halted the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The $11 billion project has been hailed as the lifeline of Russia’s economic future — and a diplomatic last resort for Europe. But Putin didn’t blink; he had planned for this moment. Two days later, Russian missiles fell on Kyiv.


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