Iain Macwhirter: Europe’s foolish dependency on Russia's oil and gas backfires

We often talk of politicians losing their marbles without actually meaning it.  Now we are faced with an actual madman launching an actual war we hardly have the words.

A full-scale invasion of a European country - in 2022!  This just doesn’t happen.  It’s a Hollywood fantasy come to life.  A disaster movie for real.  Only last week we were arguing about Christmas parties in Number Ten for heaven’s sake. Now nuclear war is a horrifying possibility. 

Why didn’t Putin’s oligarch buddies stop him, you wonder. How could they let him do something that is so obviously bad for business?  This isn’t the nineteenth century after all. Where is economic rationality, market logic, financial sense?

As the West struggles to comprehend what has happened - I believe few politicians really thought he would really invade the entire country so soon - there are some very immediate issues affecting the global economy.  

We are now in the mother of all energy crises.  

Europe’s foolish dependency on Mad Vlad’s oil and gas has come home to roost.  Germany gets half its natural gas from Russia.  The rest of Europe - and that includes us - depend on around 40%. This ends now. The Ukraine war has changed the geopolitical resource landscape.

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