'..Europe .. to turn to alternative energy sources for its survival..'

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'..you have to stand up .. to choke off his ability to be so aggressive.'

- Hillary Clinton ('..Putin Must Be Kept Contained', October 14, 2014)

'Europe and the United States have the means to stop Putin’s aggression and expansionism in its tracks by depriving him of his energy weapon once and for all..'

'The European Commission concludes that Europe can withstand even a complete shutdown of Russian gas if it allows the free flow of natural gas among countries, maximizes the use of storage capacities, allows higher prices to encourage the switch to alternative fuels (including LNG), and completes infrastructure projects on time. Under this market approach, gas will naturally flow to countries most dependent on Russian gas, such as in the Baltics and Balkans. It works if countries do not impede sales across national boundaries.


Europe now understands it has no choice, despite all of Putin’s machinations, but to turn to alternative energy sources for its survival. If it does not do so today, it must do so tomorrow at a higher price.

Without the European gas price of $304 per thousand cubic meter, Gazprom would have no choice but to remove the subsidies from domestic sales gas (at $107) and on sales to former Soviet republics (at $224). Restive Russian consumers would have to pay closer to world prices for their heating bills, and Putin would lose his hold over its “satellites” who no longer rely on Russia for cheap energy.

Russia would be hard pressed to survive the loss of the European gas market. Gazprom’s European revenues have already fallen from $60 billion to $55 billion, and European sales account for one third of Gazprom’s revenue. If deprived of this revenue, Gazprom would run a loss of $25 billion and not a profit of $33 billion. Rather than contributing profits to a federal budget, 55 percent reliant on energy taxes, Gazprom would require subsidies. Its once-proud share price would collapse, and it would be hard pressed to obtain funding from any sources including China, with or without sanctions.

Putin understands that he is playing the highest of risks game. If Europe decides to call his bluff, he will engage in a frantic campaign to divide Europe. He will offer countries bargain gas if they do not cooperate with the rest of Europe. He will increase his propaganda and lobbying efforts to drive wedges between European countries. He will realize this is a fight to the death, and there is no measure that he would not deploy. He is probably confident he will win. Let’s see if Europe’s leaders in Germany, France, the U.K. and Brussels are up to the task.

Europe’s Ultimate Test

Europe’s willingness to stand up to Russia in a tight cooperative venture is the ultimate test for the European project. The United States must pitch and show its own political backbone, such as approving the Keystone pipeline, ramping up energy export infrastructure and granting export licenses.

Europe and the United States have the means to stop Putin’s aggression and expansionism in its tracks by depriving him of his energy weapon once and for all. The European gas stress tests prove this point. Does Europe have the resolve? If Europe wants to be at the mercy of an erratic dictator bent on expansion and control, then it should choose each country for itself. Or does Europe want to be in charge of its own fate and stick together? Let’s see who is up to the test. Mr. Putin is sure the West is not.'

- Paul Roderick Gregory, Stress Tests Conclude That Europe Can Call Putin's Energy Bluff And Win, October 22, 2014

'Merkel and Hollande underlined that there can only be a ballot in line with Ukrainian law.'

'..Poroshenko, Merkel, and Hollande "urged Russia not to recognize those elections as well."

Merkel's spokesman, Georg Streiter, said that "Merkel and Hollande underlined that there can only be a ballot in line with Ukrainian law."

He said the votes would violate the Minsk agreement and further complicate efforts to find a solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

"The German government will not recognize these illegitimate elections," Streiter told a news conference, adding that European leaders were united on this issue and had agreed on this at a summit last week in Brussels.'

- Poroshenko: EU Leaders Press Putin On Rebel Votes, October 31, 2014

Context '..We must take into account a long-standing tradition of blaming outsiders for Russia's woes.' - Gaidar

(Green Energy Mix) - '..Totally Clean-Powered in [20]35.'

'The planned separatist elections are "a way to get nowhere," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said..'

'..Russia could face even further sanctions..'