As Nord Stream 2 deliveries replace those through Ukraine, Europe too loses its main lever against Russian military action. If Russian or Russian surrogate forces make a move, say, to create a land bridge connecting the separatist eastern Donbas region with Crimea, will Germany and Europe turn off Nord Stream 2 and plunge into recession? Or will European leaders beat their chests, issue diplomatic protests, recall ambassadors, and ratchet up sanctions while Putin pockets his latest territorial prizes, his flow of revenue secure?
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Thursday, June 17, 2021
Western powers often characterize Russia as a rogue state with nuclear weapons and a military disproportionate to its frail economy. Russia is the largest supplier of raw materials to the world economy. Its president, Vladimir Putin, does not let a trouble-making opportunity go to waste.