As Ukraine launches a fresh offensive to retake Russian-occupied lands in the south, another struggle is taking shape that will likely be as consequential as what happens on the battlefield. And that is the energy war.
In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the West responded in part by placing sanctions on Russian oil and stopping the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project.
But with Europe still highly dependent on Russian energy, Moscow still had some cards to play – and now it is playing them. Russia increased its oil exports to China and India, and cut its gas supplies to Europe causing shortages and skyrocketing prices.
Putin’s play here is clear. Weaken Europe and the West’s resolve to oppose its invasion of Ukraine by using energy as a weapon. But with world energy markets in transition, that strategy also carries risks.
With winter just around the corner, Putin’s energy war on the West is about to take center stage. What can we expect? On The Power Vertical Podcast this week, host Brian Whitmore speaks with Agnia Grigas and Benjamin Schmitt to unpack it all.