Letter from Europe: Weaponised interdependence?
Mounting fear of an invasion of Ukraine has put Europe’s uneasy relationship with its biggest gas supplier back into the spotlight
Russian gas flows to Europe were unaffected by Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, partly because economic interdependence had evolved into a condition of mutually assured economic destruction. In 2013, gas accounted for about 14pc of Russia’s export revenues, or roughly $73bn. Russian gas accounted for nearly 30pc of EU supply, and more than a third of Germany’s. And so, when the US and EU formulated their response to the annexation, they were careful to avoid any measures that could disrupt the continued flow of gas from Russia to Europe. But now, Russia's swollen cash reserves may have convinced the Kremlin that it could withstand any retaliatory economic strike. Russia’s foreign reser