SOUTH STREAM FOR RUSSIA
Vladimir Putin likes to use every available chess piece to maximise Moscow's influence on the world stage. Those he is keenest to deploy involve energy and pipeline policy. Russia last year sold the EU some 30 per cent of the gas that the bloc used in energy consumption. The Russian president has sought to foster such dependence not only to boost the Kremlin's economic power but to bend European leaders to his will.
This is why Mr Putin's decision to abandon the South Stream pipeline – a grandiose project that would have taken Russian gas under the Black Sea to the heart of Europe – is significant. Announcing the move on a state visit to Turkey this week, Mr Putin described…
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