The Phaserl


Russia Loses Leverage with China on ‘Holy-Grail’ Gas Deal

from Testosterone

Russian President Vladimir Putin obviously thinks that preventing Ukraine from moving closer to the West is a strategic interest and one that is important enough to risk international condemnation. Seizing Crimea has led to negative international opinion, capital flight, deteriorating relations with Europe, and a potential enormous toll to the Russian economy. It has also threatened to permanently damage the commercial relationship Russia has with its largest energy customer – Western Europe.

That has clearly accelerated the deal that Russia is trying to finalize with China on natural gas. It may seem odd that the two countries have let a gas deal go undone for so long; they are some of the largest energy producers and consumers in the world, respectively, and are close neighbors. But with very few interconnections and a dispute over pricing, Russia hasn’t been able to sell much natural gas to its neighbor.

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