Has Putin lost his roubles?
Demand for EU gas payments in Russian currency is the work of a demented genius
“When researchers provide the right answer to the wrong question.” – Definition of a Type 3 error
We are about to find out how much Europe really needs Russian gas. Or more precisely, the lengths to which EU gas buyers are prepared to go to ensure their warmongering counterparty does not turn off the taps.
Vladimir Putin’s declaration on Wednesday that Russia will only accept roubles as payment for gas bought by “unfriendly” countries at first sounds like the utterance of a madman; an edict from a paranoid president who can’t see his big expansionist gamble won’t pay off. How can European companies acquire roubles when the Russian central bank itself is subject to sanctions? Ridiculous!
And it is ridiculous. Only, the whole EU gas situation is ridiculous – and Putin’s latest gambit is a symptom of that. The EU gifted so much leverage to this narcissistic lunatic over the last two decades that it must now choose between either funding his murderous invasion of its own back yard in a curre…