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Postma, Reneé

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NRC Handelsblad - Netherlands | 17/06/2014

Gas war is pure politics

For both Moscow and Brussels the gas dispute is not just about economic issues but above all about securing power, the liberal daily NRC comments: "Gas is the Kremlin's most important weapon in its efforts to keep Ukraine within its sphere of influence without losing the European market. This market is crucial for Moscow as it makes up a good 14 percent of Russia's export revenues. With economic growth stagnating in his own country, President Putin cannot afford to lose the European market. Nevertheless Russia's threat to turn off the gas tap is very realistic. ... This whole circus over gas is above all about politics. Moscow wants to show its strength. Kiev wants to resist this. And Brussels wants to prove the cogency of the European experiment: a peaceful, free market with shared democratic values."

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