Russia’s suicide – opinion – Russia invasion of Ukraine – Russia news / The New Voice of Ukraine

Gas (Photo:Depositphotos)

Gas (Photo:Depositphotos)

History will show that Vladimir Putin’s fatal miscalculation was his belief that Europe would buckle if he invaded Ukraine because of its excessive dependence on Russian energy.

It didn’t. He also failed to understand that excessive dependence works both ways: The Euros needed his oil and gas but he, in turn, completely relied on their market.

Put another way, Putin should have parked his Imperial ambitions in the West until he had diversified his customer base and built pipelines and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities in the East to export to China, the world’s biggest energy buyer. Instead, he invaded Ukraine and then blackmailed and abused the rest of Europe which sent it scrambling to sign up new suppliers and alternative energy sources.

Europe is finding new sources more easily and Russia cannot replace Europe with new customers. He has lost economically.

Putin also fails on the battlefield. Ukrainians valiantly fight back with Western firepower. Consider his current situation: He’s alienated Europe permanently. Even if he gets his quarry, Ukraine, it will be decimated and ungovernable. Russia’s army is damaged.

His economy has no future without European oil and gas purchases in the absence of a China market. The European Union and Britain impose sanctions and vow to end their reliance on Russian oil, gas and coal. Energy and food are the lifeblood of economies and Putin’s weaponization of both won’t be forgotten.

He cannot replace Europe’s market with China and other Asian markets for years and, besides, pipelines across vast territories are becoming obsolete when it comes to natural gas. LNG is the future of energy, relatively clean and powerful. Its popularity and portability by ship to anywhere in the world cheaply is growing exponentially, but Russia, with more gas than any nation on earth, has missed the boat and remains far behind in developing this technology.

He cannot catch up now because the Western expertise and capital and companies that Putin has relied on to build the Russian oil and gas industry have fled in protest over the war. And Russians won’t be able to raise the hundreds of billions needed to build pipeline or LNG projects to link the Arctic and Siberian gas and oil fields to Asia.

The United States, Australia, and Qatar dominate the production and distribution of LNG. Their plants and terminals and fleets cost billions but deliver huge volumes gas safely with a…

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