September 1, 2014
Bryza: Call Putin's Bluff- He Will Not Cut Off Europe's Gas
In Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale, two tailors promise to make an emperor a suit that is invisible to unwise people. When the emperor greets his subjects in his new clothes, only a boy has the good sense to cry out: “But, he isn’t wearing anything at all!” Such plain-spoken truth is urgently needed to dispel a myth that hobbles European strategic thinking: that Europe is too dependent on Russian natural gas to risk a serious row with Russia over its escalating war against Ukraine.
As Moscow prepares to instigate a crisis over this winter’s natural gas supplies, Europe can secure its interests by remembering that Russia is dependent on Europe as its primary gas export market – and by preparing to weather the winter without buying Russian gas.