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Putin's plot to choke Europe backfires as he now 'cannot sell' huge stockpile of gas


Russia is facing “enormous difficulties” selling its vast reserves of gas in a move which could impact its ability to continue the war in Ukraine.

According to new analysis from the Atlantic Council think tank, Gazprom – the country’s state energy giant – is struggling to break new markets.

It comes after the world’s largest publicly listed natural gas company restricted its supplies into Europe in 2022 in a bid to starve Kyiv’s allies ahead of the winter.

But Western nations were quickly able to wean themselves off Russian gas in order to become self-sufficient.

Gazprom’s revenue fell by 41 percent year-over-year in the first half of 2023, while sales profits dropped 71 percent and gas production by 25 percent.

Gazprom Group, which also includes oil and power businesses, announced a net loss of 629 billion rubles [$6.9 billion] for last year.

Russia is now isolated, with a new pipeline to link it with close ally China estimated to cost around $100billion – which is money it cannot afford to use.

Moreover, China is not expected to need additional gas supples until after 2040.

These issues, the experts deem “leaves Gazprom in limbo for the foreseeable future”.

Berlin-based energy analyst Thomas O’Donnell told Newsweek that Gazprom’s woes have shown Putin’s tactic to use Russian gas as a lever against Europe had backfired.

He said: “It was intended to shock Europe and force them into submission with an energy war to prevent their acting in solidarity with Ukraine to his surprise, this did not happen.

“Putin has a lot of gas and he can’t sell it.”

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