Matthew J. Bryza
In a moment of friendly candour, one of the most senior officials from the Russian Foreign Ministry told me privately in late 2008, ‘We Russians are hard because we know we are weak. When we have an issue on which we know we are stronger, we will fight like mad. And, for us, that key issue is energy’.
Indeed, Russia has repeatedly used natural gas as a strategic weapon, most notably when it cut off gas to Ukraine and the EU in 2006, 2009 and 2010. A lesser-known case occurred in Lithuania in 2012, when Gazprom admitted it was punishing...