The Kremlin cuts off the gas

Russia’s gas supplies to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline will not resume in full until the “collective west” lifts sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin has said.

Here is more from the FT.  This seems to me a turning point of sorts.  Remember the old chess saying: “The threat is stronger than the execution”?  Well, this is the execution!

Europe bears the full burden today, and rather soon in the winter to come.  Over time, however, Europe will adjust and the Russian position and threat value will weaken each period.

It would make sense as a strategy if Russia were about to start negotiating for peace, but that is not my prediction.

It also would make sense if Russia thinks Europe is at the very end of its rope, and now will crack.  That also does not seem correct for me.

Or maybe Russia can’t think of anything else to do, and so they do this rather than nothing.  That would signal the Russian position is weaker than it looks.  Maybe.

In some accounts, the Kremlin has left itself a partial out.  Still, from the point of view of public opinion, very few are aware of this out.  So the Kremlin may have shot its negotiating wad.

Which means…?  How do we model this…?


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