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If Putin is using gas prices to fight Europe, how can it fight back?

By Patrick Wintour

29 Jul 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

This article discusses the various options that Europe has for the coming months when it comes to handling Russia, energy and sanctions.

With little appetite in Europe for a further wave of sanctions on Russia, and Annalena Baerbock, the German foreign minister, raising the prospect of a popular uprising in Germany this autumn over gas prices, Ukraine and its allies are focused on tightening the existing panoply of sanctions rather than putting forward more radical proposals. As many as 20 countries may be involved in bypassing the current sanctions, Ukraine reckons.

Ukraine cannot but be nervous that the popular revolt of which Baerbock warned – before quickly regretting her choice of words – will mean support for the war erodes before a Ukrainian military counteroffensive can bolster it. “In Ukraine Putin fights with missiles and tanks, in Europe he fights with gas prices,” says the Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba.

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